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Full text of "History of Alameda County, California : including its geology, topography, soil, and productions : together with a full and particular record of the Spanish grants : the early history and settlement, compiled from the most authentic sources, the names of original Spanish and American pioneers, a full political history, comprising a tabular statement of officers of the county since its formation : separate histories of each of the townships, showing their advancement and progress : also incidents of pioneer life, the raising of the Bear Flag, and prominent citizens and representative men : and of its cities, towns, churches, schools, secret societies, etc"

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Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 



iql)f"l§§<i • ky • 4^' • ^ • • ^ ®®tl" 


-"@a2)c\ Printers and Binders. /p(2A&- 

dvl, OAKLAND, CAL. ,^iiD 


After a year of incessant labor the History of Alameda County is now presented to our patrons. 
From the outset of the undertaking we have given the public to understand that the volume should contain 
naught but a plain and unvarnished record, as far as it was within our power to obtain, of the chief doings in 
Alameda, which have been instrumental in placing her in the proud position among the other counties of Cal- 
ifornia which she holds to-day. 

To do this has been no easy task, yet, if the task has been laborious, it still has been a toil in which we have 
received much kind and valuable assistance. 

To the pioneer settlers the following pages should be found most interesting, relating as they do the experiences 
gained in a new country; while the volume, as a whole, should be cherished by their children, embodying as it 
does the tale 9f hardships endured by their sires. 

In the history of the city of Oakland we have been especially careful that little that is interesting should 
be left out; the chronicles of its early days, though lengthy, will be found replete with much valuable information. 

In conclusion we would here tender our best thanks to those who aided us with appropriate suggestions ,and 
valuable information. To the gentlemen of the Oakland journals, the Tribune aaA Times; to Mr. Bartlett of 
the Livermore Herald&nA to Frank Moffitt of the Newark Enterprise are our thanks due for many kind notices 
and several other courtesies ; while we owe a debt of gratitude to the officials of the county and city — one and 
all — for making easy the task of gathering notes from the records, when it would otherwise have been most 
tedious and difficult. 

Mr. D. D. Fagan had an interest in the publication of this work, and during the most of the time of his con- 
nection with the firm was active in procuring subscriptions. 

Our work has gone far beyond the limits originally intended, thereby-necessitating much extra expense. But 
if what has been done finds favor with the community, then our undertaking shall not have been in vain. 

M. W. Wood. 
J. P. Munro-Fraser, 





Geology and Mineralogy lo 

Contra Costa Hills 15 

Monte Diablo Group 20 

Monte Diablo 24 

Topography 31 

Climatography 32 

Soil and Productions 34 

Pomology 36 

Salt-making 37 

Earthquakes 39 

Aborigines 40 

Early History 47 

The Bear Flag , 131 

Legislative History 164 

Organization of Alameda County 165 

Original Boundary of Contra Costa County. . . 165 

Creation of Alameda County i56 

Original Boundary of Alameda County 166 

Present Boundary of Alameda County 167 

Senatorial Districts 168 

Congressional Districts 168 

Judicial Districts , 168 

Court of Sessions 169 

Original Township Boundaries 171 

Oakland 171, 172 

Contra Costa 171 

Clinton 171, 172 

Eden 171, 172 

Washington 171, 172 

Murray... 171, 172 

Present Township Boundaries 172 

Alameda 172 

Brooklyn 172 

Eden ; ... 173 

Murray ; 174 

Oakland 174 

Washington 174 

Board of Supervisors 175 

Election Precincts 175 

Road Districts 176 

School Districts 178 

Political History 178 

Military Government 182 

Constitutional Convention 183 

San Jos6 made State Capital 184 

Members of First Legislature 185 

Senators 185 

Assemblymen 186 

Governor Burnett assumes office 187 

State Capital removed 187 

Political History prior to 1853 191 

Gilman (Twelfth Street) Bridge 191, 201 

The Records 196 



i860. . 



1864. . 


1866. . 

1867. . 


1869 . 

1870. . 



1873. . 

1874 . 






1880. . 



















■ .■••■ 273 







Table of Taxation 287 

Table of County Officers 288 

Mexican Grants 297 

El Valle de San Jos6 297 

San Ramon 297 

San Lorenzo 298 

San Leandro 1 302 ' 

El Sobrante 308 

Table of Land Claims 333 

Table of Ranchos 33S 

Criminal History 336 

1853 338 

1854 339 

1855 339 

1856, 1857 340 

1858 340 

1859......... 340 

i860 341 

1861 341 

1863 342 

186s 342 

1866 343 

1867 344 

1868 348 

1869 351 

1870 352 

1871 353 

1872 360 

1873 362 

1874 363 

187s 36s 

1876 36s 

1877 367 

1878 368 

1879 368 

1880 369 

1881, 1882 371 

Alameda Township 

Geography 372 

Topography 372 



Streams 372 

Climate 372 



Products 373 

Timber 373 

Mexican Grants 374 

Early Settlement 374 


1854 376 

1855 to 1869 377 










Schools 40' 

Alameda School District 402 

Encinal School District 404 

Schools under the Incorporation 404 

Methodist Episcopal Church 406 

First Presbyterian Church 407 

Garden City Lodge, No. 1745, K. of H.. . 408 

West End Lodge, No 175, A. O. U. W 408 

Alameda Council No. 192, A. L. of H 408 

Whidden Hose Co., No. 2, A. F. D 409 

Alameda Oil Works 409 

Pacific Coast Oil Co 409 

Alameda Planing Mill 409 

Encinal Lumber Yard 410 

Schuetzen Park 410 

Newport Swimming-baths 410 

Terrace Baths 410 

Long Branch Swimming-baths 410 

Brooklyn Township 411 

Geography 411 

Topography ■•,411 

Valleys 411 

Streams 41 1 

Climate ; 411 

Soil 412 

Products 412 

Timber 412 

Mexican Grants 412 

Early Settlement 413 

East Oakland or Brooklyn 417 

First Baptist Church . . '. 420 

Church of the Advent 421 

East Oakland M. E. Church 421 

East Oakland Y. M. C. Association 421 

Mills' Seminary 422 

Brooklyn Lodge, No. 225, F. & A. M 424 

Orion Lodge, No. 189, L O. O. F 424 

Evening Star Lodge, No. 263, I. O. O. F. 425 

Brooklyn Rebekah Degree Lodge 425 

Brooklyn Lodge No. 32, K. of P 425 

Brooklyn Lodge No. 3, A. O. U. W 426 

The Pioneer Pottery 426 

California Pottery 427 

East Oakland Pottery 427 

Oak GrpY? I'apnery ....,,,,,„,,, 427 

Brooklyn Tannery 428 

Bast Oakland Planing Mills 42» 

Brooklyn Manufacturing Company 42° 

East Oakland Brewery 428 

Brooklyn Brewery 42» 

Badger's Park 429 

Cotton and Jute Factory 43° 

Melrose 43° 

Castle Dome Smelting Works 43° 

Pacific Reduction Works 43° 

Fitchburg 43° 

Eden Township 432 

Geography 432 

Topography 432 

Valleys 432 

Streams 432 

Climate ^132 

Soil 433 

Products 433 

Mexican Grants 433 

Early Settlement 433 

1849 435 

1850 ." 436 

1851 436 

1852 437 

1853 437 

1854 438 

Haywards 438 

1876 439 

1877 440 

1878 441 

1879 441 

1880 441 

1881 442 

1882 442 

1883 442 

Alameda Encampment, No. 28, I. O. O. F. 443 

Sycamore Lodge, No. 129, I. O. O. F 443 

Haywards Lodge, No. 18, A. O. U. W 443 

Hercules Council, No. 139, O. C. F 444 

Haywards Weekly Journal 444 

New York Brewery 444 

Lyons Brewery 444 

Eden Landing i\ '\/ \ 

Mount Eden 445 

Mount Eden Grove 445 

San Leandro 445 

1872 446 

1873 447 

1874 447 

1875 447 

1876 448 

1877 r - 448 

1878 448 

1879 448 

1880 448 

1881 449 

1882 449 

Presbyterian Church 449 

Roman Catholic Church 449 

Eden Lodge, K. & A. M 449 

San Leandro Lodge, No. 231, I. O. O. F. . 450 
San Leandro Lodge, No. 12, A. O. U. W. 450 
San Leandro Lodge, No. 180, I. O. G. T . 450 

Chatauqua Literary Society 451 

San Leandro Reporter 451 

San Leandro Sentinel 451 

Central Manufacturing Company 451 

San Leandro Plow Company 452 

San Lorenzo 452 

Murray Township 450 

Geography ^-^ 



Topography 4S3 

Valleys 453 

Streams 453 

Climate 4S4 

Soil 456 

Products 457 

Timber 458 

Minerals 458 

Mineral Springs 459 

Mexican Grants 459 

Early Settlement 459 

Altamont 467 

Dublin 468 

Livermore 468 

First Presbyterian Church 471 

Livermore College 472 

Livermore Public School 472 

Livermore Lodge, No. zi8, F. & A. M 473 

Livermore l,odge, No. 219, I. O. O. F. . . . 473 

Vesper Lodge, No. 62, A. O. U. W 473 

Livermore Lodge, No. 200, I. O. G. T 474 

Livermore Council, No. 1070, A. L. of H . 474 

Livermore Public j^ibrary 474 

Herald 475 

Livermore H. & L. Company No. i 47s 

Niagara Fire Engine Co. No. 1 475 

Livermore Spring Water Co 475 

Warehouses, W. Waterman & Co 476 

Lumber Yard, Horton & Kennedy 476 

Wagon Factory, John Aylward 476 

Olivina Vineyard 476 

LivermQre Coal-mines 476 

Midway 477 

Pleasanton 477 

Plegsanton Lodge, No. 225, I. O. O. F. . . 481 

Carriage Factory, J. A. Bilz 481 

Suftol 481 

Oaki-and Township 482 

Geography. ..: 482 

Topography 482 

Valleys, Streams, etc 482 

Climate 482 

Soil and Products 482 

Timber 482 

Mexican Grants 482 

Early Settlement 483 

City of Oakland. 483 

Early Settlement 483 

City Lot, Abstract of Title to 485 

1852 487 

Incorporation of Town 487 

First Election 488 

Water Front Controversy 488-541 

Ferries 541-560 


Streets, Bridges, etc 560-577 

Lake Merritt 577 

Webster-street Bridge 579 

Sewerage 581 

Schools 587 

Fire Depar'.ment 59^ 

City Marshal Howe 602 

City Marshal Hogan 603 

Finance 603 

City Bonds 607 

Police Department 609 

1854 611 

Incorporation of City 611 

1855 '• ^^° 

1856 623 

1857 , 624 

Railroads 626 

1858 633 

1859 634 

i860 634 

1861 635 

1862 63s 

1863 636 

1864 639 

Street Railroads 639 

1865 645 

1866 649 

Water Supply 649 

1867 659 

1868 663 

1869 665 

1870 674 

1871 676 

1872 677 

1874 686 

1875 687 

1876 689 

1877 693 

'•July Riots" 694 

1878 697 

1879 697 

1880 710 

1881 714 

1882-83 716 

Table of City Officers 717 

Churches 722 

First Presbyterian Church 722 

Independent Presbyterian Church 723 

St. John's (Episcopal) Church 724 

St. Paul's (Episcopal) Church 725 

St. Andrew's Mission (Episcopal) 726 

First Baptist Church 726 

Church of the Immaculate Conception 727 

First Congregational Church 728 

Second Congregational Church 729 

Plymouth Avenue Church 730 

German Methodist Episcopal Church 731' 

Methodist Episcopal Church (South) 732 

Seventh-Day Adventist Church 732 

Central Mission Sunday School 733 

Young Men's Christian Association 734 

Schools 736 

Public Schools 737 

Pacific Theological Seminary 743 

California Military Academy 743 

Hopkins Academy 744 

Sackett School 745 

Ladies Schools 745 

Snell Seminary 746 

Miss Bisbie's School 746 

Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. . 746 

California Medical College, Eclectic 747 

Ladies' Relief Society 747 

Women's Temperance Union 748 

Women's Cnristian Association 748 

Home for Aged Women 749 

California Sheltering Home 749 

Lodges, etc 750 

Masonic Temple 7C0 

Oakland Commandery, No. 11, K. T 751 

Oakland Chapter, No. 26, R. A. M 752 

Royal and Select Masters 752 

Live Oak Lodge, No. 61, F. & A. M 752 

Oakland Lodge, No. 188, F. & A. M 753 

Oak Leaf Chapter, No. 8, O. E. S 753 

Oakland Lodge, No. 118, I. O O. F 753 

Fountain Lodge, No. 198, I. O. O. F '. 754 

Evening Star Lodge, No. 263, I. O. O. F. . 754 

Oakland Rebekah Lodge, No. 16, I. O. O. F. 754 



Pacific Lodge, No. 7, A. O. U. W 75/1. 

Oak Leaf Lodge, No. 35, A. O. U. W 755 

Live Oak Lodge, No. 17, K. of P 755 

Oakland Council, No. 20, O. C. F 755 

Brooklyn Council, No. 50, I. O. C. F 756 

Oakland Lodge, No. 252, I. O. B. B 756 

Appomattox Post, No. 50, G. A. K 756 

Army and Navy Republican League ... 756 

St. Andrews Society. 757 

"Daughters of Israel" Relief Society 757 

Hebrew Benevolent Society 757 

Danish Society 757 

Oakland Guard 757 

Oakland Light Cavalry 759 

Hancock Rifles 759 

Fire Department 760 

Engine Co. No. i 760 

Engine Co. No. 2 760 

Engine Co. No. 3 761 

Engine Co. No. 4 761 

Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 761 

Hook & Ladder Co. No. 2 761 

Hose Company No. i 761 

Mountain View Cemetery 761 

Oakland Bank of Savings 763 

Union Savings Bank 763 

Union National Bank 763 

First National Bank 763 

West Oakland Mut. Loan Association 764 

Cosmo. Mut Bdng. & Loan Association 764 

Oakland Gas-light Company 764 

Pioneer Carriage Manufactory 765 

Western Carriage Company 765 

Oakland Carriage Factory 766 

Oakland Boiler Works 766 

Oakland Iron Works 766 

Judson Manufacturing Company 766 

Pacific Iron & Nail Company 768 

Lanz Bros. Soap Works 770 

California Hosiery Company 770 

Samm's Mills '. 770 

Oakland City Flour Mills 771 

Williamson's Flour Mills 771 

Kelly's Marble Works 771 

Dwyer's Marble Works 771 

Knowles& Co. 's Granite & Marble Works'. ". . 771 

Pacific Press Publishing House 772 

Oakland Brewery 77c 

Washington Brewery \ _\[ nyc 

Renter's Dye Works 77 c 

Oakland Planing Mills .''.".' 77 c 

Trunk Manufty. of Bt. Colin 77b 

Odd Fellows ' Library '/// 776 

Oakland Free Library .'.'.'...'.'.'.' 776 

Oakland Daily Evening Tribune. 778 

Oakland Daily Times iiq 

Oakland Press .".'.'.'.'.'.'.".' 782 

Berkeley '.'.'.'..' I.'. .'!.'.'. 782 

University of California ..'........'. 782 

Deaf, Dumb & Blind Institution. .'.'!.' .']['" 793 

Berkeley Gymnasium 7g5 

Harmon Seminary \ yn- 

St. Joseph Presentation Convent. .' .' .'.' ." ." .' .' .' 79; 

West Berkeley Presbyterian Church 799 

West Berkeley Methodist Ep. Church °°° 

Berkeley Lodge, No. 270, I. O. O. F 8°° 

Hearts of Oak Lodge, No 61, A. O U. W- 801 

Berkeley Lodge, No. lo, A. O. U. W 801 

University Lodge, No. 88, A. O. U. W. . Soi 

West Berkeley Lodge, No. 206. 1. O. G. T. . 802 

Berkeley Council, No. 73, I. O. C. F 802 

Le Conte Lodge, No. 945, A. L. of H . . . . 802 

Tahoe Lodge, No. 1876, K. of H 802 

West Berkeley Planing Mills 803 

West Berkeley Brewery 803 

Hofburg Brewery 803 

Oakland Stockyards 804 

Stockyards Tannery 804 

Carbon-bisulphide Works 804 

Wheelan's Flour Mills . , 805 

Pioneer Starch Works 805 

Berkeley Lubricating Oil Works 805 

Standard Soap Works 805 

Wentworth Boot & Shoe Company 806 

Berkeley Advocale 807 

Shell Mound Park 807 

Oakland Trotting Park 807 

Dwight Way Park Nursery 807 

Temescal 808 

St Lawrence Parochial School 808 

Silver Star Lodge, No. 2, D. of H 808 

N. Tem. Temple Lodge, No. 11, A O. U. W. 808 

Temescal Grange, No. 35, P. of H 808 

Golden Gate (.:ouncil. No. 40, O. C, F 809 

Claremont Council, No. 74, I. O. C. F 809 

Piedmont gog 

Washington Township ...!..'.!.. 810 

Geography. .' 810 

Topography 810 

Valleys gio 

Streams , _ _ g|o 

Climate. • gio 

Soil '.'.'.'.. '.'.'.''.'.'.'.'%ii 

Products gji 

Alvarado 821 

Crusade Lodge, No. 93, I. O. O. F 822 

Reliance Lodge, No. 93, A. O. U. W. .... 823 

Beet-root Sugar Industry 823 

Union Pacific Salt Company 824 

Centreville. 826 

Centreville & Alvarado Pres. Church '. . 827 

Alameda Lodge, No. 167, F. & A. M 829 

Centreville Council, No. 34, I. O. C. F 829 

Pioneer Association ' " _" _ 829 

Washington & Murray Township Water Co 8to 

Decoto g^j 

Mission San Jos6 " g,j 

Newark. '.'... ' g^ 

Newark Lodge, No. 169, A. O. U W «^^ 

Crystal Salt Works '. J^ 

Newark Coursing Grounds. . o- 

Niles °34 

Warm Springs .'.'."."...." g '* 

Washington Corners ^^ 

Washington College '. V'^ 




Adams, Edson looo 

Adams, Herbert Lester, LL.B 836 

Ager, Mark 837 

Allen, James M 837 

Andrus, Washburne R 838 

Anthony,. F. A S39 

An way, Loren B 839 

Arff, Fred. D! 839 

Arnold, Rawdon, M . D looi 

Atkinson, Capt. George 840 

Babb, Nathaniel L 841 

Babbitt, S. M looi 

Badger, Capt. Thomas VV S41 

Baker, J. Edward 842 

Bankhead, Hugh 842 

Bardellini, Antonio 842 

Barlow, H. S. (deceased) 843 

Bartlett, W. P , 843 

Barron, Richard 843 

Barry, William 844 

Barton, John 844 

Beard, E. L. (deceased) 845 

Beard, John L 846 

Beazell, Hon. Jaraes 846 

Benedict, Benajah 847 

Benedict, Newton 847 

Bennett, Robert H 848 

Bernal, Augustin 848 

Bernal, Dennis F 849 

Bernal, Jos6 849 

Bigelow, Elijah 849 

Bilz, J. A 849 

Bishop, Amasa W 849 

Black, Joseph F 851 

Blackwood, William C 852 

Blacow, Robert (deceased) 852 

Bond, Capt. George W 853 

Bothsow, Christian (deceased) 853 

Bowen, William J 853 

Brannan, B. F 854 

Brewer, James A , 854 

Brown, Edward 854 

Brown, Hon. L. H 854 

Brown, Samiiel R 855 

Bucknell, Dr. B. F. (deceased) 856 

Bushen, D 857 

Burdick, Edwin E 857 

Burdick, J. F., M. D 858 

Burrall, Will. H 858 

Button, Fred. L 858 

Byrne, N. B 858 

Cameron, Duncan 859 

Campbell, Edwin H 859 

Carey, T. P 860 

Carpenter, D. S 860 

Carter, H. K 860 

Cheney, Z. D 861 

Chabot, Anthony 861 

Church, Hon. A. M 862 

Clark, Alson S 864 

Clark, Henry C 864 

Clough, B. D. T. . . . 864 

Cockefair, William H 864 

Craig, Homer A 865 

Crane, Addison M 865 

Crosby, Judge E. 869 

Gushing, John 871 

Cutter, L. H., M. D 871 

Dalziel, Robert 872 

Dargie, W. E 872 

Davis, Hiram 873 

Decoto, Ezra 873 

Delmue, Carlo 873 

Dieves, Joseph 873 

Dimond, Hugh 874 

Dixon, Hon. M. W 874 

Donohue, Martin 874 

Doughert)., Hugh 875 

Dougherty, James W (deceased) 875 

Dresco, Lorenzo 875 

Duerr, Carl 876 

Dugan, John 877 

Dusterberry, Henry 877 

Dulcher, N. D 878 

Dyer, E 878 

Dyer, E. H 881 

Eggers, Harmaii S82 

Ehrman, Solomon - 882 

Eiben, F. G 883 

Elliott, R. W 8«3 

Emerson, James 883 

English, John M 884 

Fath, Adarn." 884 

Fonte, Antonio 884 

Francis, Samuel 885 

Frese, John L 885 

Fritch, J. Homer •. 885 

Foster, Elijah ■.■ 885 

Gerhardy, P. J 880 

Gibbons, W . P., M .D , 886 

Gibbs, W. T .V887 

Gibson, Col. E. M '887 

Gilson, J. C 888 

Glascock, Hon. J. R 888 

Godfrey, George 889 

Corner, Theo 890 

Greene, A. J 890 

Greene, Theodore '. S90 

Gregory, H. C ; 890 

Hadsell, Charles , . . . , , . 891 

Haines, LB 891 

Haley, C. S ■ 892 

Haley, Sr., Ebenezer 892 

Haley, J. E , 893 

Haley, W. W 893 

Hampel, John .'..!... 893 

Hardy, Lowell J 894 

Hare, A. J 894 

Haskell, W. W 895 

Hassinger, Samuel K looi 

Hawley, F. H 896 

Hayward, William SgS 

Hays, Col. John C. (deceased) 897 

Hayes, Timothy 905 

Hayes, William 905 

Healey, Comfort 906 

High, W. H 906 

Hill, Otis ' 907 

Hinckley, D. B 907 

Hirshberg, Samuel (deceased) 907 

Holtz, William 908 

Hortenstine, J. B 908 

Huff, Socrates 908 

Hussey, W. H. H 909 

Hutchison, James 912 

IngersoU, W. B •. . 913 

Inman, Hon. Dan 913 

Inwall, Harry 913 



Irish, Hon. John P 

Jacobs, Aaron 

Jamison, John W 

Jarvis, F. C 

Jarvis, Howard S 

Jessup, William H . ... 

Johnson, John 

Jones, Andrew 

Jones, Edmond (deceased). 
Keller, Michael J. 











Klinkner, Charles A 922 

Kohler, Ernest F 9^2 

Knox, Lewis 9^2 

Knox, William 922 

Kottinger, John W 923 

Lancaster, Joseph 924 

Lawrie, A. G 92+ 

Lehrbass, Richard 924 

Lewis, C. R 925 

Lewis, Capt. J. M. R. (deceased) 925 

Liston, W. M 92S 

Livermore, Robert (deceased) 926 

Livermore, Robert 927 

Luders, Maas 927 

Lyon, John L 927 

Mack, W. H 928 

Malley, Frederick 93° 

Mark, I. N, M. D 93° 

Marshall, Earl (deceased) 932 

Marston, Phineas F 932 

Mathews, John (deceased) 933 

Mathews, Peter (deceased) 934 

May, August 935 

May, George 935 

McAvoy, H. B 935 

McFeely, F. P 935 

McGovern, A. J 936 

McKeany, Peter 936 

McLeod, A. J 936 

McVicar, Philip H 937 

Meek, William 937 

Mendenhall, Martin 937 

Mendenhall, William M 937 

Meyer, George S 942 

Millard, Thomas Wale 942 

Miller, Albert 943 

Milton, Capt. Anthony 943 

Mitchel, John L 943 

MofEtt, James 944 

Mongelas, Charles J 944 

Montross, Abraham Bruyn . 945 

Moody, Volney Delos 945 

Moore, Capt. John Milton 946 

Moore, W. W 947 

Morin, Francis D 947 

Morrison, Perry 948 

Mortimer, William 948 

Mowry, Origin 948 

Mulfordj Thomas W 949 

Mulqueeny, Michael 950 

Munyan, Emery 950 

Murphy, Edward (deceased) 951 

Myers, Frederick F 951 

Nebas, Henry F 951 

Newcomb, William 952 

Nicholson, John H 952 

Niehaus, Edward 952 

Nissen, J. K 953 

Nor, Andrew J 953 

Nusbaumer, Louis (deceased) 953 

Nye.StephenG 954 

Olive, John H 955 

Osgood, Luther E 955 

Overacker, Adam A 95° 

Overacker, Howard 95" 

Owen, R. Owen.. 957 

Patten, Robert Foster 957 

Patterson, George W 957 

Patterson, Nathaniel Greene 95° 

Pedrini Cipriano 959 

Pinkerton, Thomas Hamel, M. D 959 

Plummer, Chas. A 959 

Plummer, John Allen, Jr ' 960 

Pohlmann, Hermann 960 

Poinsett, William 96° 

Pope, Richard T 961 

Proctor, John 961 

Prowse, John Harvey 961 

Pullen, C. J 961 

Pumyea, Peter 962 

Ralph, Joseph (deceased) 962 

Redman, Hon. R. A 962 

Reid, William W 964 

Remillard, Hilaire 964 

Rice, Chas. U 965 

Richmond, Edwin A 965 

Riser, John J 965 

Roberts, William 966 

Robinson, Charles Kingsley 966 

Robinson, Hon. Henry 967 

Robinson, Jesse, M. D 967 

Rose, A. P., 967 

Rose, Frederick 968 

Rose. J. A 968 

Rosenberg. Lasery 969 

Rosenberg, Morris. 969 

Ross, Edward 969 

Russell, Joel 969 

Rutherford, Charles B 97P 

Sackett, D. P., A. M 971 

Sanburn, Daniel Moody 97' 

Schafer, A, W 97i 

Schellhaas, Henry 97' 

Scoville, Ives 972 

Scribner, George W 972 

Selna, Leopold 972 

Siebe, Capt. Ludwig 972 

Sherk, Jacob B 973 

Shinn, James 973 

Silva, Manuel Francisco 973 

Sinclair, Duncan 973 

Smalley, David S 973 

Smith, George 974 

Smith, Henry 975 

Smith, Hon. Henry C (deceased) 975 

Smith, Henry T 976 

Smith, Leonard 976 

Smith, Lewis Cass 976 

Smith, James Dale 976 

Smith, Thomas A 977 

Smyth, Henry 979 

Sohst, Henry J 979 

Stein, Adolph 979 

Stevens, Calvin J 979 

Stevens, Capt. Levi (deceased) 979 

Stivers, Simeon - 980 

Stokes, James Johnstone 980 

Stone, Leonard 981 

Stone, Lysander 981 

Sturges, Mahlon Beach 981 

Sunderer, Joseph 983 

Sunol, Jos6 Narcisco 983 

Taggart, Grant 1 983 

Taylor, John 983 



Taylor, Joseph H 984 

Taylor^ Dr. William Stewart 984 

Teeter, Daniel M 985 

Thom, George 985 

Thorn, Philip 985 

Thornburgh, M. K 986 

Threlfall, Richard 986 

Tifoche, Ivan James 986 

Tisch, David 987 

Trask, Charles O 987 

Tyson, William (deceased) 988 

Valpey, Capt. Calvin (deceased) 989 

Vrooman, Hon. Henry 989 

Wales, William (deceased) 991 

Walker, Jared Tuttle 992 

Webb, Otis 902 

Webster, John Nelson 993 

Weller, Conrad 993 

Wells, Thomas D 993 

Whidden, William (deceased) 993 

Wheeler, Charles Carroll 994 

Whitney, Hon. George Edwin 994 

Wiard, Edward 996 

Wicks, Moses 997 

Wonderlich, John P 997 

Woods, Thomas S 997 

Woodward, Gideon 997 

WooUey, John 998 

Wyman, J. B 998 

Wynn, Watkin William 998 

Yule, John 999 


Crane, A. M Title 

Chabot, A 8 

Livermore, Robert 16 

Marshall, Earl 24 

Hajrward, Wm 32 

Adams, Edson 40 

Smith, Thomas A 48 

Mendenhall, Wm. W 56 

Vrooman, Henry 64 

Brown, L. H 72 

Stevens, C. J 80 

Blacon, Robert 88 

Huff, Socrates 96 

Dyer, E. H 104 

Meek, Wm 112 

Stone, Lysander 120 

Dargie, W. E 128 

Blackwood, H. B 136 

Whidden, Wm 144 

Threlfall, Richard 152 

Stevens, Levi 168 

Sunol, Jose Narciso 176 

Decoto, Ezra 184 

Mulford, Thos. W '. 192 

Daerr, Chas 200 

Barron, Richard 208 

Tyson, Wm 216 

Church, A. W 224 

Black, Jos. F 232 

Dixon, M. W 240 

English, John W 248 

Walker, J. T , 256 

Johnson, John 264 

Mark, I. N 272 

Crosby, E. 280 

Redman, R. A 288 

Benedict, B 296 

Pinkerton, M. D., T. H 304 

Cameran, Duncan 312 

Mitchel, I. L 320 

Hussey, W. H. H 328 

Mathews, John 336 

Rose, J.A 344 

Millard, T. W 352 

Smith, J. D 360 

Patten, R. F 368 

Overacker, Howard 376 

Marston, Phineas F 384 

Stone, Leonard 392 

Nusbaumer, Ls 408 

Webb, Otis ■. 416 

Russell, J 424 

Munyan, E 432 

Smalley, David S 440 

Barton, John 448 

Knox, Wm 456 

Hare, A. J 464 

Cushing, John 472 

Davis, Hiram 480 

Mathews, Peter 488 

Hardy, L. J 496 

Jessup, Wm. H 504 

Valper, Calvin 512 

Meyer, Geo. S 520 

Haines, I. B 528 

Fath, Adam 536 

Siebe, Capt. Ludwig. , . 544 

Trask, Chas. O 552 

Bishop, A. W 560 

Jones, Andrew 568 

Lancaster, Joseph 576 

Wicks, Moses 584 

Buhsen, D 592 

Lyon, J. L 600 

Luders, Maas 608 

Moury, Origin 6i6 

Bernal, Dennis F 624 

Dieves, Joseph 632 

Nebas, H. F 640 

Poinsett, Wm 648 

Haley, E 664 

Wiard, E 680 

Gerhardy, Phil. J 696 

Klinkner, Chas. A 704 

Adams, H. L 712 

Taylor, John 728 

Silva M. F 744 

Niehaus, Edward . 760 

Prowse, John H 776 

Mach, W. H 792 

Take, Geo. J 8o8» 

Jamison, J. W 824 




ALAMEDA COUNTY is bounded on the north by Contra Costa County ; on 
the south by Santa Clara County ; on the west by the Bay of San Francisco ; 
and on the east by San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. 
The immense advantages of location which the county possesses will be imme- 
diately made apparent by reference to a map of the State of California. Having a 
geographical position as near as may be about the center of the State, its entire west- 
ern front is laved by the world-famous Bay of San Francisco, while on its opposite 
shore is situated the metropolis of the Pacific, whose forest of masts, well-planned 
streets, and noble edifices, proclaim a more than ordinarily prosperous city. On its 
water front are the termini of the great overland line of the Central Pacific Railroad, 
connected with which are the less prominent railroads that find their way to every 
practicable portion of the State, and the South Pacific Coast Railroad, a narrow-gauge 
line going southward to the sea-coast watering-place of Santa Cruz, in connection 
with both of which, half-hourly ferry-boats carry immense loads of passengers to .and 
from the parent city. What advantage San Francisco may boast of, that Alameda 
County also possesses, for in thirty minutes after arrival there from the Orient and 
Australia, Europe and Africa, the northern or southern coasts of the American Con- 
tinent — in short, all the great sea-routes terminate here — one may land on its shores, 
while the railroad joins it with the continent of Europe, the great cities of the Atlantic 
Coast, and those of the western prairies. It is the center of travel and the half-way 
halting place for the world's commerce. 

Area. — Alameda County contains about eight hundred square miles, or five 
hundred and twelve thousand acres, nearly equally divided between mountains, val- 
leys, and plains, nearly twenty thousand acres of which, along the margin of the Bay 
of San Francisco, are overflowed by the tide. 

10 History of Alameda County, California. 

Geology and Mineralogy. — There is perhaps no subject in the whole range of 
scientific research so fraught with interest and so sure to yield a rich harvest to the 
investigator as the study of the earth's crust, its formation and upbuilding. In this 
the careful student and close observer sees more to prove the assertion that "in the 
beginning God created the heavens and the earth " than can be found on any written 
page. Indeed, it may well be called a written page — a tablet of stone on which the 
finger of God has written, in letters of life and death, the history of the world from 
the time when the earth was " without form and void," until the present day. What 
a wonderful scroll is it which, to him who comprehends, unfolds the story of the ages 
long since buried in the deep and forgotten past ! In wonder and amazement he 
reads the opening chapters, which reveal to his astonished gaze the formation of the 
igneous bed-rock or foundation crust on which, and of which, all the superstructure 
must be built. The formless and void matter is slowly crystallizing into that pecu- 
liarly organized tripartite mass known now as granite, than which there is no more 
curiously formed thing on earth, and none could be better adapted for foundation 
purposes than this adamantine stone. Silica, spar, and mica, three independent sub- 
stances, all crystallizing freely and separately, each after the manner and under the 
laws which govern its special formation, are so indissolubly united in one mass, that 
the action of the elements for centuries is scarcely perceptible, and the corrosive tooth 
of time makes but a print upon its polished surface during ages. 

From this page we turn to the one above it, for be it known that the geological 
book is arranged so that its primary pages come at the bottom. Here is found incip- 
ient life, in the form of tripolites, polyps, various classes of moUusks, together with 
worms and crustaceans. Near the close of the page there is found the record of fish 
also. All through the page is found descriptions of the primal vegetable life which, 
existed on the earth in the shape of sea-weed and algs. The entire face of the earth 
was then covered with water, for this was before the decree had gone forth which 
said, " Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let 
the dry land appear." What an era of storms and tempests that must have been ! 
No continents nor even islands against which the angry waves could dash in their 
fury. What tides there must have been ! But all this great commotion was neces- 
sary, for enough of the great granite body had to be dissolved and eroded to form a 
body of matter several hundred feet in thickness in the lowest places. 

Another page is turned to view, and here is to be read the fact that the sea was 
full to overflowing with fish. And now the dry land had appeared, "and the earth 
brought forth grass." Here was the beginning of vegetable life in the world, other 
than which grew in the sea. Animal life has no\\- advanced to the vertebratse, and 
vegetable life has been ushered into the world. Great earthquakes now begin to 
occur, and mountain ranges are formed. Storm and tempest rage much as in the last 
age, and erosion is going on rapidly, and detritus is forming layer after layer of the 
rocks now classified as belonging to this geological period. What cycles of time, as 
measured by man's chronology, transpired during this age, no one can tell, yet to 
man, if it could be told to him, it would seem to be not a time, but an eternity. 

The unfolding of the next page reveals to man the most useful as well as 
wonderful epoch in the upbuilding of the earth's superstructure. It is now that the 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 11 

great coal fields are formed, from which man, in the due fullness of time, is permitted 
to draw his supplies for fuel for all purposes. How wonderfully is the munificence and 
wisdom of God exemplified in this one age in the world's formation ! Quite large 
areas of land have now been elevated above the surface of the raging Devonian sea. 
The native heat of the earth radiating continuously, expanded the waters into vast 
volumes of mist, which floated upward till it came in contact with the cooler strata 
of air, when it was precipitated to the earth in grand old thunder showers. The 
atmosphere was charged with heat and burdened with moisture and carbonic acid. 
These were conditions most favorable for the development of a gigantic and profuse 
growth of vegetation, and the surface of the earth was covered with such a forest as 
the mind of man cannot conceive. Centuries rolled by, and at last large masses of 
these trees had grown up, fallen down and formed themselves into interminable and 
impenetrable jungles. Then the continents began to exchange places with the seas, 
and water covered the great forests so lately in the full flush of their exotic pride. 
Then the salt and sand formed great bodies of shales and slate-stone upon the top of 
the forest, and the weight of the body of rock and earth pressed it till it formed into 
the mass we now find it, and the process of solidification occurred, and stone coal was 
the result. In accordance with the laws of correlation and conservation of forces, the 
great coal beds are only immense reservoirs of heat in a latent state, awaiting the 
proper conditions for development and application to the uses and advantages of the 
human family. Could a man have seen the process of coal-making going on, away 
back in the almost twilight of the early dawn of the earth's existence, he would 
naturally have asked : To what use can that brittle, black material ever be put ? Too 
fragile for building purposes,' and too hard and sterile for agricultural economics, and 
yet evidently designed by the All-wise Creator for some benificent. purpose. But 
to-day the answer is written on every hand in letters of living light. The sunbeam, 
charged with heat, comes from the bosom of that great source of light and heat, and 
assimilates itself with the great body of heat and vegetation, then everywhere so rife. 
Ages roll on and that sunbeam and its brothers of that day, have long since been for- 
gotten. The fullness of time has now come, and a race of beings inhabit the 
earth which existed only in the will and mind of the Infinite One at the time of the 
upbuilding of these great coal measures. These creatures are called men, and they 
are delving far down into the deep recesses of the earth. For what are they search- 
ing amid the dark chambers and along the gloomy passages which they haye burrowed 
out in the bosom of the earth ? We follow and find them with pick and drill dis- 
lodging a heavy, black substance, and sending it in cars to the surface of the ground. 
We follow it as it passes from hand to hand. Do you see that happy household 
band gathered around the cheerful hearth, while, without, the storm-king rages with all 
the fury of a demon ? Hark ! Do you hear the clank and whir of machinery which 
comes from those buildings, affording employment for hundreds of needy men and 
women, keeping the wolf from the door, and even making them happy ? Do you see 
that train of cars speeding over hill, through valley and across plain, bearing with it a 
host of people, hurrying to and fro from their avocations of life ? Do j-ou see the 
mighty steamer which plows the ocean's crested main from port t,o port, from land to 
land, bearing the wonderful burdens of commerce in its capacious maw ? Yes, you 

12 History of Alameda County, California. 

see them all. You hear the pulse and throb of the mighty engine which drives all 
these wonders on to success, and which is conducive to man's happiness and best good- 
But did you ever pause to think that, ere time was, almost, the agent which was des- 
tined to perform all these marvels was garnered away in God's great store-houses — 
the coal fields, and that to-day we are reaping the full fruition of all these centuries. 
How grand the theme ! How the heart should echo -in His praise for His wonderful 
goodness to the generations of men ! 

The next page reveals to us the fact that reptiles, frogs, and birds came into 
existence, or rather, that the two former developed into the full vigor of their genera- 
tion, while the latter was introduced for the first time upon the scene of action. It is 
not our purpose here to make any close inquiries into the origin of animal life, and 
shall use the word developed in relation to the introduction of a new series of animal 
life, as being eminently proper, but not as having any reference to the Darwinian idea^ 
of development, although the day has already dawned when the human race will 
accept the truths of that theory, let them be ever so contradictory to what is now 
taught. For our purpose one theory is as good as another. The fact is that in the 
carboniferous or coal period, there are no traces of birds at all ; and in the next age 
we find their foot-prints on the sandstone formations. Whence they came we know 
not nor do we care. They were of gigantic stature evidently, for their tracks often 
measured eighteen inches long, and their stride ranged from three to five feet! Another 
phase of animal life was developed in this age, and that was the mammal, which was. 
an insect-eating marsupial. 

Another page is laid open for our perusal, and on it we read that the race of rep- 
tiles reached their culmination in this age, holding undisputed sway over land and 
sea, and in the air. They were very numerous, and their forms exceedingly varied 
and strange, and their size in many cases gigantic. Some kinds, like the pliosaurus,. 
plesiosaurus, and ichthyosaurus, were sea saurians, from ten to forty feet in length ; 
others were more like lizards and crocodiles ; others, like the megalosaurus and iguano- 
don, were dinosaurs, from thirty to sixty feet in length ; others, like the pterodactylus,, 
were flying saurians, and others turtles. The megalosaurus was a land saurian, and 
was carnivorous. This is the first land animal, of which there is any record, which 
subsisted on the flesh of other animals. The pterodactyl was one of the most won- 
derful animals which ever existed on the face of the earth. It had a body like a 
mammal, wings like a bat, and the jaws and teeth of a crocodile. It was only one foot 

The next page does not reveal any very marked changes from the last. The same 
gigantic reptiles are in existence, but on the wane, and finally become extinct during: 
this era. The vertebrates make a great stride forward towards their present condi- 
tion, while all the leading order of fishes are developed just as they exist to-day. Up 
to this time the fish had not been of the bony kind, but now that peculiarity is 

We have now perused the great book of nature until we have come up to those 
pages which are everywhere present on the surface of the earth. Figuratively, we may 
consider this page divided into three sections: the first or lower of which contains 
nothing in common with the present age, all life of that day having long since become 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 13 

•extinct. The second section contains fossils more nearly related to the present time, 
from ten to forty per cent, being identical with the living species. In the third section 
the percentage of similar species runs from fifty to ninety. The continents of the world 
Jiad assumed very nearly the same shape and outline which they maintain at the pres- 
ent time. Sharks reached the height of their glory in this age, while the reptiles 
assumed their true form of snakes, crocodiles, and turtles. For the first time in the 
•history of the world is there any record of snakes. And how far they preceded man 
will remain for the reader to determine from what follows farther on. The mammals 
of this age are the chief objects of interest, not only on account of their great number 
and the extended variety of forms under which they appear, but especially because 
this period marks the time of the introduction of the true mammals on the earth. The 
seas and estuaries, though rich in animal life, no longer furnish the most prominent 
representatives of the animal kingdom; but in this period the mammals assume the 
first rank. But it must be here stated that some of these species lived beyond the 
close of this age. These animals inhabited the upper Missouri section in great quan- 
tities, and comprised the moose, rhinoceros, a species similar to the horse, tapir, peccary, 
camel, deer, hyena, dog, panther, beaver, porcupine, musk-deer, mastodon, wolf, and 
fox. How like a dream it seems that these precursors of the present races of mammals 
should all be swept out of existence; still, when we come to know what climatic changes 
occurred at the close of this period, we will not wonder any longer. Not only were 
the " fountains of the great deep broken up and the rains descended," but the conti- 
nent sank deep below its present surface, and a great sea of ice from the north swept 
over its face, bearing death and destruction to all living creatures in its path. This 
was the glacial period, and its results are written on the next page. 

This page reveals a wonderful mystery! The throes of death were the travails of 
birth, and that condition of things which swept from the face of the earth an entire animal 
kingdom, paved the way for the existence of a higher and fuller life, even man himself 
Hitherto the earth had been in a process of incubation, as it were — "the spirit of the Lord 
had brooded over the earth," and this was the finality to it all. This was the long 
■winter of death which preceded the spring of life. This is known as the drift or 
boulder period, and its phenomena are spread out before us over North America. The 
drift consists of materials derived from all the previous formations, and comprises all 
stages frpm the finest sand to boulders and fragments of rock of gigantic size. When 
the vast sea of ice came crushing down from the far-away home of old Boreas an 
inestimable quantity of rock was caught in its giant clutch and ground to powder. 
Others were rolled and polished till they were as smooth as glass, while others were 
fastened into the body of the ice, and carried along miles and leagues from their 
native ledges. Throughout the Mississippi Valley are numerous granite boulders, but 
no known ledge of it exists nearer than the northern lakes. As soon as the continents 
had risen from their depressed condition and the icy era had subsided, wonderful to 
relate, life sprang into existence in a fuller and stronger condition than ever before. 
The vegetable and animal life of this age was the same as to-day, except the mammals, 
which, strange to say, passed away almost entirely at the end of that era. The elephant 
during that period was about one-third larger than the present species, and near the 
close of the last century one of these monster animals was found imbedded in the ice 

14 History of Alameda County, California. 

on the coast of Siberia in such a state of preservation that the dogs ate its flesh. 
Among the many pictures which this fertile subject calls up, none is more curious than 
that presented by. the cavern deposits of this era. We may close our sui'vey of this 
period with the exploration of one of these strange repositories; and may select Kent's 
Hole at Torquay, Devonshire, England, so carefully excavated and illuminated with 
the magnesium light of scientific inquiry by Mr. Pengelly and a committee of Jhe 
British Association. In this cave there are a series of deposits in which there are 
bones and other evidences of its habitation both by animals and men. The lowest 
stratum is comprised of a mass of broken and rounded stones, with hard red clay in • 
the interstices. In this mass are numerous bones, all of the cave-bear. The next 
stratum is composed of stalagmites, and is three feet in thickness, and also contains 
the bones of this bear. The existence of man is inferred at this time from the pres- 
ence of a single flint-flake and a single flint-chip. Water seems to have now flooded 
the cave and the next stratum is composed of stones, clay, and debris, such as would 
naturally be deposited by water. But the strangest part of it is, that this flood stratum 
is rich in relics of its former inhabitants, yielding large quantities of teeth and bones 
of the elephant, rhinoceros, horse, hyena, cave-bear, reindeer, and Irish elk. With 
these werp found weapons of chipped flint, and harpoons, needles, and bodkins of bone, 
precisely similar to those of the North American Indians. This stratum is four feet in 
thickness, and in one spot, near the top, there is a layer of charcoal and burnt wood, 
with remains which go to show that human befngs had been there and prepared their 
food by cooking it, and it also proves that the knowledge and use of fire was known 
far down into the early dawn of man's existence on earth. It is to be borne in mind 
that this is all anterior to the present state of affairs, and that all the animals men- 
tioned as contemporaneous with these primitive men have long since passed out of 
existence, and may not the race of men to which those people belonged have passed 
away also, and another race sprung up in their stead, the same as other races of animals 
have developed to supply the place of those passed away. These are questions worthy 
of more than a hasty glance. Another layer of stalagmite now appears to have been 
formed, in which are bones, having' the same characteristics as those mentioned above, 
only the jaw-bone of a man with the teeth in it was found. Now a wonderful change 
occurs. The next stratum is black mould, and is from three to ten inches thick, but 
in it are found only evidences of modern times, both in the relics of man arid beast. 
The bones of the animals are of the orders which exist at the present time, and the 
relics of men extend from the old Briton tribes before the Roman invasion up to the 
porter bottles, and dropped half-pence of yesterday's visitors. How long a time tran- 
spired between the last visit of the first race of men who knew this cavern, and the 
first visit of the old Britons, is hard to even guess. That it was many ages none will 
dare to question. 

We now come to the last page of the great geological book which records the 
present era of the world's history, which is pre-eminently the age of man. That man 
existed previous to the present order of things, there can be no question; but it remained 
for this period to fully develop him in all his glories and powers, The dark night of 
winter with its snows and ice, before whose destructiv^e and frigid breath all things 
which had lived on the earth had perished, including primitive man, had passed away. 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 15 

and the whole face of the earth was smihng and rejoicing in the spring-time of its new 
existence. The seasons were fully established, and summer's suns and winter's ice 
assumed their appropriate offices in the grand economy of the earth. The seed time 
of spring and the harvest time of autumn followed each other through the cycles of 
centuries and will never change. The earth was all virgin soil and very rich and produc- 
tive. The air was fresh, bracing, and free from all poisonous exhalations. All nature 
was complete. Animal life had again covered the world, and all was ready for the 
crowning effort of Nature — man. Away in western Asia, there was a land favored 
far above all the countries of the earth, so much so that it could truly be called a para- 
dise. It was a table-land, at the head-waters of the rivers that flow into the Euxine 
and Caspian Seas, and the Persian Gulf Its climate was healthful and bracing, with 
enough of variety to secure vigor, and not so inclement as to exact any artificial 
provision for clothing or shelter. Its flora afforded an abundance of edible fruits to 
sustain life, and was rich in all the more beautiful forms of plant life, while its clear 
streams, alluvial soil, and undulating surface, afforded a variety of beautiful scenery, 
and all that would go to make up the sine qua ?wn of human existence. It was not 
infested with the more powerful and predaceous quadrupeds, and animals which did 
inhabit the region had nothing to fear, for man was originally purely vegetarian in 
his diet, and in this paradise he found ample supplies of wholesome food. His require- 
ments for shelter were met by weaving bowers of the overhanging trees. The streams 
furnished gold for ornaments, shells for vessels, and agate for his few and simple cut- 
ting instruments. Such was man's estate in the first days of his existence; but the 
eternal laws of progression soon forced him out of his primitive bowers into huts, and 
thence into houses and palaces, and the end of that progression is not yet. And 
the human race has a future before it which, if it could be seen and comprehended at 
one glance, would cause the heart of man to stand still in wonder and amazement. 

We will now pass to a consideration of the geological formation of Alameda 
County, as is to be found in Professor Whitney's Geological Survey of California. 

Cdntra Costa Hilk. — The subordinate group of elevations lying west of Mar- 
tinez and the San Ramon and Livermore Valleys is known as the Contra Costa 
Hills ; they extend through the county of that name into Alameda and Santa Clara 
Counties, and finally become merged in the Mount Hamilton Division of the Monte 
Diablo Range. These hills are separated from the principal mountain mass of Monte 
Diablo by a system of valleys, extending for about forty-five miles, and preserve a 
somewhat distinctive character for some fifteen miles farther, losing their identity 
entirely about the head of Calaveras Valley. They are made up of tertiary and cre- 
taceous strata, usually but little metamorphosed; although a belt extending along their 
western side is considerably altered from its original character. 

Beginning at the northwest extremity of the group, at Martinez, we have in the 
immediate vicinity of that place cretaceous strata, well exposed in the bluffs along the 
Straits of Carquinez. Here the rocks observed are sandstones, shales, and argillaceous 
limestones, the latter forming bands and lenticular masses in the shales, generally but 
a few inches thick, although as much as three feet. Their strike is usually N. 42° W., 
varying, however, from N. 39° W. to N. 44" W., and they dip southwest at an angle of 
from :5° to C:" 

16 History of Alameda County, California. 

The rocks near Martinez have furnished a large number of specimens of cretaceous 
fossils of both divisions. 

In passing along the shore of the Straits of Carquinez, west of Martinez, the 
cretaceous strata occur for about seven miles, and are made up of shales and sand- 
stones, the former containing frequent thin layers of hydraulic limestone. These 
rocks, however, exhibit but few fossils. The dip and strike are variable, but generally 
about east and west magnetic, and the dip is also irregular, but almost always to the 
southwest, and at almost every angle from nearly horizontal to vertical ; the strike is 
nearly parallel with the line of the straits. Near the upper limit of the cretaceous, 
are sandstones very like those of Monte Diablo .which accompany the coal, and they 
contain a considerable quantity of carbonaceous matter, but no regular coal-bed, so 
far as yet discovered. Near these carbonaceous strata, and above them, is a narrow 
belt, partly altered and folded, and from one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet in 
width. The Rodeo Valley marks the limit of the cretaceous going west from Marti- 
nez, the tertiary succeeding in that direction, and resting conformably on the strata 
beneath, and having the same general southwestern dip. South of Martinez the cre- 
taceous strata have a higher dip, but in the same direction. 

Southwest of the Rodeo Valley lies a broad belt of tertiary rocks, which extends 
from San Pablo Bay to Amador Valley, forming the mass of the Contra Costa Hills, 
for a distance of about thirty-five miles northwest and southeast, and having a breadth 
of from six to eight miles. The rocks are chiefly sandstones, and in places highly 
fossiliferous. San Pablo Creek heads in this belt, and flows between two parallel ridges 
in the line of the strike of the rocks. On the west side of the creek, about four miles 
a little southeast of San Pablo, the rocks contain considerable bituminous matter, and 
a well had been bored here in 1862 to the depth of eighty-seven feet, at which point 
oil was struck, which it was proposed to purify by distillation, and works were erected 
for this purpose, as also to obtain oil from the highly saturated sandstone.* At these 
springs the rock has a high dip northeast; but farther northwest it dips to the south- 
west, while the hills in the vicinity are too deeply covered by soil and decomposed 
rock to admit of the general position of the strata being determined satisfactorily. 

To the north of San Pablo are low hills of very recent strata, which are nearly 
horizontal, and which rest unconformably on the edges of the tertiary. Whether these 
beds contain any extinct species of shells has not yet been determined ; at all events, 
they are no older than the post-pliocene. 

In the valleys between San Pablo and Walnut Creek, many sections made by the 
rains of 1861-62 in the superficial detritus are observed. The beds are horizontally 
stratified, and made up of light and darker colored materials, the lighter ones being 
darker near the upper surfaces, and growing lighter downwards to the depth of from 
six to twelve inches, as beds usually do when acquiring a color from decaying vegeta- 
ble substances. This would indicate that the rate of deposition of this detritus has been 
exceedingly irregular, long periods having sometimes elapsed without much addition 
to the detrital deposits, and then, again, a heavy mass of materials being suddenly 

* The quantity of oil obtained seems to have been too small to pay, as the work was not profitable, and had 
been discontinued previous to the oil excitement of 1865. Whether resumed between that time and the present, 
1883, we have been unable to discover. 

' Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 17 

spread over the surface, just as takes place at present during a winter of extraordinary- 
storms, like those of 1861-62. The appearances indicate sometimes a heavy deposit 
during one year only ; at others a succession of them for several years. The same or 
similar facts are observed at many points in the coast ranges. 

The whole range under consideration is divided into a grfeat number of hills and 
valleys, the latter running parallel with the strike of the strata. The valleys are exca- 
vated in the softer materials, and are frequently drained by streams running in two 
opposite directions, which connect at their sources by very low divides, so that one 
hardly recognizes the fact that he is passing over them. When streams cut across the 
strike of the strata, as they occasionally do, the valleys become mere canons, or nar- 
row rocky defiles. 

To the southeast of Martinez there is a good exhibition of the folding of the 
strata, exhibiting in synclinal axis, which runs from a point one mile north of Pacheco 
■ southwest to the Canada del Hambre, a distance of about four miles. 

Walnut Creek (Arroyo de las Nueces) heads in the divide between the valley of 
this name and that of the San Ramon ; it separates the Contra Costa Hills from the 
Monte Diablo Group proper. High hills of tertiary sandstone rise to the west of it, 
attaining an altitude of from eighteen hundred to two thousand feet. The high group 
of hills north of the head of the San Ramon is also of sandstone, and has about the 
sanie elevation. The strike of the strata here is about N. 50° W. to N. 55° W., and 
the dip 65° to the southwest. The San Ramon, heading in this group of hills, runs 
southeast, then turns and runs parallel with its former course in the opposite direction, 
having a high and steep range of fossiliferous sandstones between the two parallel 

The foot-hills along the eastern base of these higher ridges are of strata very 
much broken, with every possible dip and strike, the latter frequently at right angles 
to that of the strata in the main ridge, and standing vertical. There are indications 
of a line of quite recent disturbances of the rocks through the San Ramon and El 
Hambre Creeks, which line crosses the general direction of the stratification at an 
angle of 35°. There are fissures in the soil along the west side of the San Ramon 
Valley, which were formed during the earthquake of June, 1861, and which may be 
considered as strengthening the probability of the recent formation of this valley. 
That extensive disturbances have taken place in the Monte Diablo chain within the 
most recent geological epoch will be seen farther on. 

Near the head-waters of the San Ramon, the hills of tertiary sandstone rise to 
the height of about two thousand feet ; the strata having a strike of about N. 39° to 
41" W.; and they have a high dip to the southwest. The same strata, as followed 
along a few miles farther to the northwest, near Moraga Valley, become more nearly 
vertical, and the strike curves around more to the west. The same belt of rocks 
extends southeast from the head of the San Ramon, through the range of hills west 
of Amador Valley, and they have a lower and more uniform northwesterly dip. These 
hills sink into the plain near the eastern end of the pass leading from Haywards to 
Amador Valley. 

Near the " Walnut Creek House," a small patch of cretaceous occurs, extending 
over a few acres, from which the overlying tertiary, forming the crown of a low 
anticlinal, has been denuded. 

18 History of Alameda County, California. 

A belt of metamorph^c rock may be traced along the western side of the Contra 
Costa Hills, beginning near San Pablo, thence following the west side of Wad Cat 
Creek, and appearing in a southeast direction along the foot-hills of the range, for a 
distance of about thirty-five miles. It generally forms a narrow belt, not over two 
miles wide, and often not half that; but in some places there is more or less meta- 
morphic action observable over a width of four miles. The northwestern portjon of 
this band of altered rock curves to the northwest, and seems to form the isolated 
metamorphic hills lying near the bay, apparently connecting with the range of high 
hills which run out at Point San Pedro and extend back to San Rafael. 

Near San Pablo a great variety of the results of metamorphic action may be 
observed; as, for instance, in following a line extending from the house of V. Castro 
back to the top of the ridge. The original rock seems to have been a more or less 
bituminous slate or shale, and patches of it have almost entirely escaped metamor- 
phism, while others in the immediate vicinity are very much altered and converted 
even into mica slate. The dip of the strata, when it could be made out, was to the 
northeast, 30° at the base of the hill and gradually getting higher towards the crest of 
the ridge, where the metamorphism is most complete. Here the rock is traversed by 
small quartz veins, and has evidently been acted on by water containing silica in solu- 
tion, as it is, to a large extent, converted into that mixture of ferruginous, jaspery, and 
chalcedonic material, which is so well known as frequently containing cinnabar, that 
we have become accustomed to call it the " quicksilver rock." Considerable masses 
of actinolite have been found lying on the surface in this vicinity, evidently derived 
from the rocks of this ridge. The specimens resemble exactly those obtained from 
the very much older metamorphic rocks of New England. 

The widest and highest portion of this metamorphic belt lies near the pass leading 
from Oakland to Lafayette, the summit of which is thirteen hundred and eleven feet 
above high tide. About a hundred rods west of the summit metamorphic«slates stand 
vertical, having a close lithological resemblance to rocks elsewhere known to belong 
to the cretaceous system ; a short distance northwest they have a high dip to the 
northeast. A sharp ridge, half a mile in a direction N. 32° W. from the Summit 
House, is of hard metamorphic sandstone, of which the strike is N. 64° W., but curv- 
ing more to the south as we go southward; the dip is to the northeast, about 70° in 
amount. Hand specimens of this rock have a very trappean look, but they appear 
to be of metamorphic origin. 

About one mile farther north is the highest point north of the pass, called " Rocky 
Mound"; it is nineteen hundred and twenty-one feet high, forming a i-ounded hill, 
having a distinct stratification, although very trappean in its appearance, and a dip 
to the northeast. Between this point and the ridge spoken of in the last paragraph, 
there is a mass of trappean rock, finely crystalline and very hard, in which no planes 
of stratification can be observed. On the northeast of San Pablo, the unaltered strata 
rest on these metamorphic rocks and dip northeast. 

The ridge between Wild Cat and San Pablo Creeks is made up of strata dipping 
northeast from 30° to 35°, and having a strike of about N. 52° W. The north end of 
this ridge is of quite unaltered strata, while the southern portion is highly meta- 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. ]9 

On the east side of Carlisle Creek, a metamorphic limestone occurs, in which all 
traces of stratification have been obliterated, the mass of the rock being traversed by 
veins of quartz, resembling semi-opal in appearance. 

South of the pass from Oakland to Lafayette, several high, dome-shaped hills 
rise, having an elevation of about eighteen hundred and fifty feet, made up of highly 
metamorphic rock, having a trappean aspect, but stratified and dipping northeast. 
Intruded in this are masses of rock which appear to be of decidedly eruptive origin, 
as the metamorphic strata are displaced in the vicinity. Here, as in many other locali- 
ties in California, it is difficult to draw the line between eruptive and sedimentary, as 
both have undergone extensive metamorphism since their formation. 

A short distance south of the pass the metamorphic strata suddenly contract to 
about one and one-half miles in width, an arm of unaltered sandstone and slates 
extending up between two branches of the metamorphic. In this region the slates are 
little metamorphosed, appearing \vhite and easily decomposed, although much con- 
torted. Portions are highly silicious, but soft and friable, and, under the name of 
" Kaolin," are used to mix with clay in making pottery at San Antonio. This belt of 
slates and shales may be traced southeast as far as Sunol Valley, beneath which they 
dip, rising again probably and appearing in a highly metamorphic form in the mass of 
the Mount Hamilton Group. In the places where they are not metamorphic they have 
all the lithological character of the strata known to be of cretaceous age, which have 
been described as occurring near Martinez, and which will be noticed farther on as 
so well developed near Monte Diablo. 

Lying to the west of this are massive sandstones, entirely unaltered, which, as 
yet, have furnished no fossils, but which are believed to be of cretaceous age. They 
form an elevated ridge, of which a culminating point is Redwood Peak, sixteen hun- 
dred and thirty-five feet above the level of the bay. The. strike of these sandstones 
at this point is about N. 69 W., but they curve more to the south on the southeastern 
side of the ridge. Their usual dip is to the northeast, but near Redwood Point the 
strata are much broken, and three miles southeast they sometimes stand vertically or 
have a very high dip to the northeast. 1 

Beneath this mass of sandstones, and extending to the southwest, there is a body 
of coarse conglomerate, forming a series of ridges of considerable altitude. Northeast 
of San Leandro it appears in the range of hills forming the eastern boundary of the 
San Antonio Ranch. Ten or twelve miles farther to the southeast it appears in Sunol 
Peak, which rises to an elevation of over two thousand feet, on the southeast side of 
which it dips to the southwest. It passes through the Su cl Valley and becomes a 
portion of the great metamorphic belt of the Mount Hamilton Range. 

Although no fossils have been found in place in the belt of slates and shales 
alluded to above as exhibiting so well-marked a resemblance to rocks elsewhere 
determined to be of cretaceous age, yet a few boulders have been picked up which 
contained shells undoubtedly of this epoch. A more careful search will hardly fail to 
furnish some farther evidence on this point. One of these boulders was found near 
the entrance of Sunol Valley, in a locality where it is hardly possible that it should 
have come from any other belt of rocks than that indicated above. 

The metamorphic band, before alluded to as beginning near San Pablo, after 

20 History of Alameda County, California. 

narrowing near Redwood Peak, extends along the western slope of the hills, forming 
the lower ridges at their base. It does, not, however, form a well-defined belt parallel 
with the strike of the strata, nor does it appear to represent an axis of elevation. In 
a section examined from San Leandro across the summit of Monte Diablo, it was seen 
conformably underlying the conglomerates and sandstones before spoken of; but far- 
ther south its relations to the adjacent rocks become very obscure, owing to the almost 
entire obliteration of the lines of stratification consequent on the increased metamor- 
phism of the mass. As observed in the foot-hills of the range between San Antonio 
and Alameda Creek, this metamorphic belt has all the characters which are so often 
exhibited by the altered cretaceous rocks. Serpentine is abundant in it in large irreg- 
ular masses, and jaspery slates, like those of Monte Diablo. East of San Antonio 
large patches are to be seen, having all the characters of the quicksilver-bearing rock of 
New Almaden and New Idria, exactly like those noticed as occurring near San Pablo. 
Considerable masses of chromic iron occur in this position, one of which was formerly 
worked to some extent. Stains of copper are not unfrequent, and have led to several 
attempts at mining, none of which have proved successful, or are likely to repay the 
labor and capital invested. 

In the neighborhood of Alameda Ca6on this metamorphic belt appears to be 
almost lost, but traces of chemical action commenced and partially completed, are exhib- 
ited in narrow streaks visible among the highly inclined and broken strata; these, how- 
ever, do not appear to connect through with the metamorphic mass of Mount Hamilton. 

Monte Diablo Group as Regards Alameda County. — -After describing the 
Monte Diablo Group as it ranges through the county of Contra Costa, with variations 
in geology and vast coal-beds, Professor Davidson proceeds with his interesting 
description in these words: — 

The pass called after Mr. Livermore, an old settler in the valley, is on the west 
side of the eastern division of the Monte Diablo Group, and about sixteen miles south- 
east of the summit of the mountain, and here the chain is more completely broken 
through than at any other point in its whole extent; this pass has, for that reason, been 
selected for the passage of a railroad from San Jose to Stockton, for which the pre- 
liminary surveys have been made, and which is now in process of construction. The 
western division of the chain, the Contra Costa Hills, already described in this chapter, 
are entirely broken through by the canon through which the Alameda Creek, which 
drains a large region in the interior of the range, finds its way to the Bay of San 
Francisco. This cauon, therefore, in connection with the Livermore Pass, furnishes a 
good and easy route for a railroad entirely across from the bay to the plains of 
the San Joaquin; it is, indeed, the only feasible one. As we issue from the Ala- 
meda Canon, going towards Livermore Pass, we come into a valley or plain some 
twelve miles in length, but of irregular width, which extends to the western entrance 
of the pass. The western portion of this is called "Amador Valley"; the eastern, 
'• Livermore Valley." These valleys are formed by the sinking down of the tertiary 
ranges of hills which lie along the southeastern slope of Monte Diablo. The portion of 
the range, which continues to the southward, and connects the Monte Diablo Group 
with the Mount Hamilton Group, and over which the Livermore and Corral Hollow 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 21 

Passes cross, is made up of a very irregular belt of hills about ten or twelve miles wide, 
most elaborately wrought out by denudation into a labyrinth of ridges and caiions, the 
minute exhibition of whose details would require a map on a very large scale. These 
ridges are nearly destitute of trees, with but a scanty supply of feed, in the shape of 
grass or forage, and poorly provided with water, what there is being generally alkaline. 
The hills in the vicinity of the pass are seldom over twelve hundred feet high, but 
they rise higher a little farther north, and " Bushy Knob," or " Las Cuevas," may be 
considered as the culminating point of this division of the group; it is one thousand 
seven hundred and forty-two feet above tide-water. 

The pass itself is, according to the Pacific Railroad surveys, four hundred and 
eighty-one feet high at its western entrance, and six hundred and eighty-six feet at its 
summit; by our measurement, the eastern entrance, at " Zimmerman's Mountain 
House," is two hundred and twenty-three feet above the sea. 

The rocks near the pass are sandstones, which are soft and easily disintegrated. 
They are of tertiary age, but contain few fossils. Along the eastern side of the 
range the dip is to the northeast, and on the western side it is in an opposite direction, 
there being a low axis running through the region from southeast to northwest, and 
pa.ssing a little to the east of Bushy Knob. The dip in both directions is quite small, 
in keeping with the comparatively small elevation of this portion of the chain. At 
Bushy Knob it was only 1 5°, the direction of the strata being N. 69° W. 

South of Livermore Valley the hills rise in altitude, but exhibit in the main the 
same features as on the other side, until we approach Corral Hollow. They are 
rounded in outline, and the rock is rarely seen, except in the canons. As we reach 
Corral Hollow we find the strata more disturbed, and all the indications of an approach 
to another great metamorphic center. 

The pass, or canon, usually known as Corral Hollow, extends back from the San 
Joaquin Plain and opens into Livermore Valley; it crosses the hills about ten miles south 
of the Livermore Pass, but is more elevated than that, and traverses a greater variety 
of rocks, as it intersects both the altered and the unaltered cretaceous strata in its 
upper portion. 

This upper region of the pass, which has a northwest and southeast direction, is 
a deep, precipitous canon, extending across to the Livermore Valley from the bend 
in Corral Hollow Creek. This creek, as is so often the case with the streams in this 
region, runs towards the northwest, parallel with the stratification, for a considerable 
distance, and then turns suddenly, and, crossing the strata, runs at right angles to its 
former course. The change in direction is just at the point where the unaltered strata 
are intersected. The general strike of the strata in this region is nearly mag- 
netic east and west, or N. 70° to 75° W. ; the dip is usually to the north, at 
a pretty high angle, but very variable. The metamorphic region in which Corral 
Hollow Creek heads will be noticed farther on, as it forms a part of the Mount 
Hamilton Group. The division between the metamorphic and unaltered rocks in the 
angle of the creek is well marked and easily recognized at a distance, from the varied 
character which the different rocks give to the landscape. The metamorphic hills are 
covered with a darker and thinner soil, and are more bountifully supplied with trees, 
especially the Quercus Agrifolia and Quercus Garryana, while the outlines of the 

History of Alameda County, California. 

ridges are sharper and the outcrops of rock more numerous. Near the junction with 
the unaltered strata the metamorphosed beds preserve their original lines of stratin- 
cation, and are perfectly conformable with the overlying beds of rock, which have 
undergone no change. These metamorphic rocks are of cretaceous age, and are 
identical in appearance with the jaspery rocks noticed as occurring so abundantly near 
Monte Diablo. The jasper bands are from a fourth of an inch to several inches in 
thickness, sometimes very much contorted and of various colors — red, rose-colored, 
green, gray, and white ; the whole presenting, especially on the weathered surfaces, the 
most bi-illiant and beautiful appearance. There are also reticulations of quartz cross- 
ing the mass in small, irregular veins and threads, such as have already been described 
as occurring near Monte Diablo, forming the peculiar rock which we have followed 
from this region north as far as Clear Lake. Serpentine is also abundantly distrib- 
uted through this metamorphic region. 

Between the metamorphic and the tertiary there is a narrow belt of unaltered rock, 
of cretaceous age, the metamorphic action not having penetrated through the whole 
mass of the strata. But few fossils were found in these unaltered rocks, and these 
were distinct from any obtained elsewhere in the cretaceous, tq which formation, however, 
they were referred, with some doubt, by Mr. Gabb, who described two species from 
this locality, namely, Cyprinella tenuis and Carbula primoisa ; besides these, Anomia 
and Mytilus were observed, as also three other bivalves, too imperfect to be referred 
with certainty to any genus. Mr. Gabb considered that these fossils, which overlie 
rocks known to be of cretaceous age, and which dip under the miocene tertiary may 
probably prove to belong to a brackish water deposit of the cretaceous, although it is 
possible that the formation in which they occur may represent the eocine division of 
the tertiary. 

The dip and strike of these unaltered rocks are variable, but they usually incline 
at a pretty high angle to the north. Two sections were made across the valley in this 
region, which will serve to show the position of the strata and also the coal-beds, 
which are found here, and which have been worked to some extent. The first 
crosses Corral Hollow at the "Pacific Mine" and runs N. 20° E. [See Whitney's 
Geological Survey of California, p. 36, vol. on Geology]; it represents a length 
of five miles, and is on an equal scale of horizontal and vertical distances. The other 
one crosses at the Almaden Mine [See p. 37, Ibid?^, and is of about the same length 
as the other. On comparing these two sections it will be seen at once how great a 
disturbance of the rocks has taken place in this region, within so short a distance, as the 
whole series of sandstones on the north side of the hollow has in one section a posi- 
tion exactly the reverse of that in the other. In the section at the Pacific Mine the 
mass of unaltered strata north of the hollow lies nearly conformable with the 
metamorphic; and, like that, dips to the north for a distance of a mile and a half ; 
then we have a mass of disturbed strata and a reversal of the dip. In the Almaden Mine 
section the reversal of the dip takes place in the strata immediately connected \\-ith the 
coal, which of course has an unfavorable influence on the working of the bed. Indeed 
the disturbances in this district are so extensive that it is to be feared that these coal- 
beds will not be m-ade available ; and up to the present time, at least, they have not 
been, although the quality of the coal is good as compared with other Pacific Coast 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc., 23 

coals, and the thickness of the beds sufficient for profitable working, if they had not 
been so much disturbed by the movements of the strata. 

An analysis of the Corral Hollow coal gives : Water, 20.53 ; bituminous sub- 
stances, 35.62 ; fixed carbon, 36.35 ; ash, 7.50. 

The Pacific Mine is situated near the upper curve of the stream, on the .south 
side, about nine miles from the mouth of the valley, and nine hundred and fifty feet 
above the sea. The stratum of coal is in sandstones and shales ; the strike is N. 
86° W., and the dip 50° to 70° to the north. The strata are much broken, 
and frequent slips and faults occur, while the dip is quite variable. A drift cuts 
the bed from the lower side and follows it for a distance of three or four hun- 
dred feet. The bed shows at its eastern end a thickness of fifty inches of worka- 
ble coal. It was stated that, up to October 15, 1861, from two hundred to four hun- 
dred tons had been mined here. When visited again in 1862, but little further work 
had been done here. The drift had been extended a few feet, and the thickness of 
the coal was found to be sixty-six inches. Many facts were noticed, showing how 
great a disturbance had taken place here. In the strata beneath the coal are many 
angular fragments of the coal itself, which appear to have slipped out of place and to 
have been caught between the strata while undergoing these convulsions, which in one 
place have cut the seam entirely off and brought it squarely up against the broken edge 
of the sandstone. 

The Coast Range Company was the first one to mine in this district. Their 
shaft is one and a half miles below that of the Pacific Company, in the bottom of the 
valley, on the south side. The coal seam was perpendicular, and a shaft was sunk in 
it to the depth of one hundred feet; but little good coal was found, and it is now 

Some explorations and attempts at mining at the Alameda Company's mine, on 
the south side of the canon, gave equally discouraging results, the strata being much 
broken, so that the bed could not be followed continuously in the shafts, one of which 
had been sunk to the depth of one hundred and fifty feet in 186 1. In this shaft the 
strata dip to the south at a high angle, there being a complete overturn of the strata 
here. The bed of coal exposed in this shaft was about two feet thick, and of good 
quality, although much crushed, and therefore easily disintegrated. As far as can be 
ascertained, no coal has been shipped from these mines of late, and they are probably 
abandoned. Unless the quality and quantity of the Corral Hollow coal were quite 
superior, it would be impossible for it to come in competition with the product of the 
Monte Diablo mines, the latter being so much more favorably situated with reference 
to a market. 

To the north of the belt of cretaceous strata just described, there is an extensive 
region of tertiary hills, extending towards Livermore Pass. The highest of these are 
from two thousand four hundred to two thousand five hundred feet in altitude ; the 
highest point measured was two and a half miles north of the Pacific Mine, and its 
altitude was found to be two thousand one hundred and ninety-eight feet. The rock 
in these hills is deeply covered with soil, but is sufficiently exposed in the cafions to 
.show that it has a very variable strike and dip, being much affected by the fault or dis- 
turbance which passes through Corral Hollow. On the hills north of the mines there 

24 History of Alameda County, California. 

are several localities of the large fossil oysters (Ostrea Titan), where these occur in 
great numbers. About one mile north of "Camp 6 1," the impressions of leaves and 
silicified wood were found in great abundance in, a soft sandstone, supposed to be of 
pliocene age. The strata had a dip to the southeast, and the leaves were chiefly 
found in a stratum about two feet thick. They were very numerous and beautifully 
preserved, and represented several genera of deciduous trees. In one case a stump 
was found still upright, its roots in the leaf-bearing stratum, and its top projecting 
into that next above. These indications of a terrestrial flora were observed over an 
area of several square miles, but the exact relations of the strata to the oyster-beds 
could not be made out owing to the fact that the exposures of the rocks are so poor 
in this region. 

Monte Diablo. — There was once a time when there were no human inhabit- 
ants in California, but there were two spirits, one evil, the other good ; and they made 
war on each other, and the good spirit overcame the evil one. At that period, the 
entire face of the country was covered with water, except two islands, one of which 
was Monte Diablo, the other. Eagle Point (on the north side). There was a coyote 
on the peak, the only living thing there. One day the coyote saw a feather floating 
on the water which, as it reached the island, suddenly turned into an eagle, who, 
spreading his broad pinions, flew upon the mountain. The coyote was much pleased 
with his new companion, and they dwelt in great harmony together, making occa- 
sional excursions to the other island, the coyote swimming while the eagle flew. 

After some time they counseled together and concluded to make Indians; they 
did so, and as the Indians increased the water decreased, until where the lake had 
been became dry land. 

At that time what is now known as the Golden Gate was a continuous chain of 
mountains, so that it was possible to go from one side to the other dry-shod. There 
were at this time only two outlets for the waters, one was the Russian River, the 
other San Juan at the Pajarp. Some time afterwards a great earthquake severed the 
chain of mountains and formed what is now known as the Golden Gate. Then the 
waters of the great ocean and the bay were permitted to mingle. The rocky wall 
being rent asunder, it was not long before the " pale faces'' found their way in, and, as 
the water decreased at the coming of the Indians, so have the Indians decreased at 
the approach of the white man, until the war-whoop is heard no more, and the coun- 
cil-fire is no more lighted ; for the Indians, like shadows, have passed silently away 
from the land of the coyote and eagle. 

In addition to the above legend, the following somewhat similar tradition is cur- 
rent among the Indians, and though we may not have the means of verifying it, is 
certainly full of interest. 

It is related that where the Bay of San Francisco now is, there formerly was a 
great lake, much longer, broader, and deeper than the bay. According to the Indian 
account this lake was more than three hundred miles in length, with no outlet except 
in the rainy season, when it would overflow its banks and a small stream would run 
to the ocean some thirty miles south of the present outlet. 

The ridge of hills along the coast was then unbroken and served as a dyke to 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 25 

prevent the waters of the lake from escaping to the ocean. Its level was many feet 
above that of the ocean, while its waters extended far up into the present valleys of 
the Sacramento and San Joaquin. On the shores, centuries ago, there dwelt populous 
tribes of Indians ; indeed, if credence may be given to the tales of the aboriginals, the 
present population of California will equal that of those ancient days, when the " noble 
red-man" fished in its waters and hunted through the forests. 

The hills along the coast are formed of soft sandstone, and through this, the tra- 
dition relates, the water began to make a breach, which yearly grew wider, until it 
burst through and among the hills with tremendous power, leaving steep cliffs and 
precipices to mark its way — and what was once a lake several hundred miles in length, 
is now a bay not forty miles long. This may have been the cause for such a change, 
but it would seem far more reasonable to attribute it to some volcanic commotion 
which in those days might have been as prevalent here as they are now in Mexico and 
Central America. ' 

How far this tradition can be corroborated must be determined by those who 
have the means ; but no one who has witnessed the steep bluffs around San Francisco, 
or has passed the singular entrance of the bay, called the Golden Gate, with its per- 
pendicular walls, or has seen the no less singular bluffs of Raccoon Straits, can for a 
moment doubt but that they were formed by some powerful agency, either fire or 

Let us now for a little turn to consider the derivation of the name Monte Diablo, 
for by such a name is it known in the early English surveys. To the old Californian, 
it is recognized as the Sierra de las Golgones, they asserting that Monte Diablo is the 
name applied by them to another and smaller peak in the neighborhood, while De 
Mofras calls the mountain Sierra de los Bolbone. 

Genferal Vallejo, than whom few better authorities on Californian lore exist, in his 
famous report to the Legislature dated April i6, 1850, says: "Mount Diablo, which 
occupies a conspicuous place in modern maps, is the center of this county (as it was 
then and still is). It was intended so to call the county, but both branches of the Leg- 
islature, after warm debates on the subject (the representatives of the county opposing 
the said name), resolved upon the less profane one of ' Contra Costa.' " The follow- 
ing he then gives as the history of Monte del Diablo: "In 1806 a military expedi- 
tion from San Francisco marched against the tribe ' Bolgones,' who were encamped at 
the foot of the mount; the Indians were prepared to receive the expedition, and a hot 
engagement ensued in the large hollow fronting the western side of the mount. As 
the victory was about to be decided in favor of the Indians, an unknown personage, 
decorated with the most extraordinary plumage, and making divers movements, sud- 
denly appeared near the combatants. The Indians were victorious, and the incognito 
('/'«^/ departed towards the mount. The defeated soldiers, on ascertaining that the 
spirit went through the same ceremony daily and at all hours, named the mount 
' Diablo,' in allusion to its mysterious inhabitant, that continued thus to make his 
appearance until the tribe was subdued by the troops in command of Lieutenant 
Gabriel Moraga, in a second campaign of the same year. In the aboriginal tongue 
' Puy' signifies ' Evil Spirit;' in Spanish it means 'Diablo,' and doubtless it signifies 
' devil' in the Anglo-American language." 

26 History of Alameda County, California. 

It is said that there is an old Californian legend in this regard preserved in the 
archives of one of the missions, which runs thus : — 

Soon after the ari'ival of the Spanish padres here, about the year 1769, to locate 
missions and civilize the aborigines, the Indians, among other tributes which they 
brought to the pious fathers in token of their obedience, produced a quantity of 
gold nuggets, which they brought from the vicinity of a high mountain adjacent to 
what is now known as the Bay of San Francisco, and which, according to their rude 
traditions, had once vomited forth both fire and smoke. The padres foreseeing 
in this abundance of " the root of all evil" the future destroyer of their pastoral plans 
of settlement and the permanence of the Roman Catholic religion among these primi- 
tive tribes, determined to prevent the use of, or hunting for, the precious metal. 
They accordingly took all the gold which had been collected, and having secretly 
poisoned it, placed it in a tub of water, and told the Indians to make their dogs drink 
it. The simple natives, accustomed to yield implicit obedience, did as they were 
ordered, and the dogs that drank thereof died. The padres then pointed out this as 
an instance of the ruin and destruction which would visit them and their country if 
they meddled any more with so dangerous an agent, and from that time the Indians 
carefully avoided the place whence the treasure was obtained, and, which, as the gold 
was held to be of a diabolical origin, and especially sent to carry out the plans of his 
Satanic Majesty, they ever after named Monte Diablo, or Devil's Mountain. 

■ The mountain is also said to take its name from a marvelous phenomenon wit- 
nessed amongst its wild and precipitous gorges, at a time when, in the language of 
an old trapper, " Injins war plenty, and white women war not." It is related that 
once, in an expedition against the horse-thief tribes who inhabited the valley of the 
San Joaquin as far down as the base of the mountain, the native Californians came up 
with a party of the freebooters, laden with the spoils of a hunt, and immediately gave 
chase, driving them up the steep defiles which form the ascent of the mountain on 
one side. Elated with the prospect of securing and meting out punishment to the 
robbers, they were pressing hard after them, when lo ! from a cavernous opening in 
their path there issued forth such fierce flames, accompanied by so terrible a roar- 
ing, that thinking themselves within a riata's throw of the principal entrance to 
his Infernal Majesty's summer palace, the astonished rancheros, with many " car- 
ajoes!" and "carambas!" and like profane ejaculations, forgot their hostile errand, 
and turning tail scampered down the mountain faster than they had gone up. Recit- 
ing the adventure to their fellow-rancheros on their return, it was unanimously agreed 
that the devil and his chief steward had fixed their abode in the mountain, and in 
compliment to the great original dealer in hoofs and horns, they gave the present 
name of Monte Diablo to the scene of their late terrific exploit and discomfiture. As 
for the Indians, who as they declared, all mysteriously disappeared as the flfimes rose 
in view, of course the Dons afterwards insisted that they were the favored children of 
the devil ! 

So much for these legends of Diablo. There are other stories connected with 
the mountain, bordering on the marvelous, or rather the diabolical, one of which is 
that a herdsman who had lost his way among the canons, discovered what he sup- 
posed by the fading light of day to be a spring of clear water in a hollow rock, "and 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 27 

that stooping down to appease his thirst, he was rather surprised at the marvelous 
celerity with which the supposed water slid down his throat and through his stomach, 
like drops of real water off the back of a duck. It was afterwards supposed that he 
drank from a pocket of liquid quicksilver, a supposition which subjected the old 
mountain to a pretty rigid investigation in 1848, by cinnabar hunters. Whether the 
tradition of the burning mountain had anything to do, also, with the explorations 
which were made about the same period (just before the general discovery of gold) 
for coal mines, we are not advised, nor whether the coal-bed since discovered suggests 
an explanation, or furnishes an hypothesis by which to account for the burning pit 
which opened before the astonished gaze of the Indian scouting party, we leave it for 
others to determine, as we do also which of the above legends offers the most plaus- 
ible reason for the name Monte Diablo. 

This cognomen has, however, had its enemies. In the session 1865-66 of the Cal- 
ifornia Legislature a petition was introduced by a Mr. Dodge asking for a change in 
the name of Monte Diablo. The Bulletin, a San Francisco newspaper, thus enters into 
a \\\.\\^e. badinage on the subject: " It may possibly be a trick of the devil himself to 
get another alias, or, perchance the prayer comes from a bevy of ' out-cropping poets,' 
living at the base of the mountain, who want the name changed to Parnassus. The 
probability is, however, that the petition originated with some mining company who 
want to get the name changed to ' Coal Hill,' or some other ridiculous title, in order 
to advertise their bituminous deposits. In either case, it is an aburd proposition, and 
besides it can't be done. The Legislature is not equal to the task. They may suc- 
ceed in changing the name of Smith to Jones, or Brown to Johnson; but when they 
undertake to give a new title to one of California's grandest old mountains, they 
reckon without their host. The popular voice won't accept the change. Though the 
Legislature may say ' Coal Hill,' the people will continue to say ' Mount Diablo,' and 
Diablo it will remain. It is safe to bet that when that towering lump of earth ceases 
to be called Mount Diablo there will be no mountain there, if, indeed, there be any 

' While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; 
When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; 
And when Rome falls, the World. ' " 

The State Geologist, in his report published in 1866, says of this grand old 
mountain: — 

'■ To the Survey it has served as a sort of key for unlocking the stratigraphical 
difficulties of the whole line of upheavals from Los Angeles to Clear Lake, and it 
was here that the cretaceous formation in the State was first clearly recognized. 

"Monte Diablo itself is one of the most conspicuous and best-known landmarks 
in California. But few persons in the State can have failed to recognize it from some 
point either of the coast ranges or of the Sierra Nevada. It is not its great elevation 
which has given it its pre-eminence among the innumerable peaks of the coast ranges; 
it is just the height of Mount Bache, near New Almaden, a point hardly known by 
name to those who have not made a special study of the geography of Califor- 
nia, and it is overtopped by Mount Hamilton, San Carlos, and some nameless peaks 
to which no public attention has ever been attracted. The reason why Monte Diablo 
has so marked a pre-eminence among the peaks of the coast ranges is, that it is, com- 

28 History of Alameda County, California. 

paratively speaking, quite isolated, especially on the northwest, north and northeast; 
the directions from which it is most likely to be seen. To the traveler passing up Suisun 
Bay, or the Sacramento or San Joaquin Rivers, it presents itself in all its symmetry 
and grandeur, rising directly from the level of the sea, and easily recognizable from a 
great distance by its double summit and regular conical outline, resembling that of a 
volcano, which it was generally supposed to be by the early settlers. 

" If the mountain is made such a conspicuous landmark by its isolated position,, 
it becomes itself, in turn, a point from which a vast area of the State may be observed 
and studied. Rising as it does among the coast ranges, these may be traced from its 
summit, from Mount Hamilton on the south to unnamed peaks in the vicinity of Clear 
Lake on the north, and from the plains of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin to- 
the Pacific, east and west. The great interior valley of California lies spread out like 
a map, extending as far as the eye can reach. To the east the view seems illimitable, 
and it is believed that there are few, if any, points on the earth's surface from which 
so extensive an a.rea may be seen as from Monte Diablo. This is due to the pecu- 
liar form of the great valley of California and the gradual rise of the Sierra,. 
which brings higher and higher points to view as the distance becomes greater. The 
eye can range over an extent of four hundred miles from north to south, and back to- 
the east, or towards the summit of the Sierra, as far as the crest of this range, the 
farthest northern point visible being Lassen's Buttes, and the most extreme southern- 
most point near Owen's Lake, probably, thus affording a range over this snow-crested, 
line of mountains of over three hundred miles in length. The whole ar-ea thus spread- 
out can hardly be less than forty thousand square miles, not much less than that 
of the whole State of New York." 

By an easy grade the way to the summit wends through the romantic Pine Canon,. 
skirted by precipitous hills, and occasionally buttressed by craggy pinnacles of rock 
whose shapes often assume the most fantastic forms. As the road ascends the flank 
of the mountain, each new curve opens up a fresh scene of beauty surpassing the one 
which preceded it, and the eye gradually takes in the added splendors of a panorama 
extending north, south, east and west, to the farthest horizon's verge. Some two 
miles from the summit we reach the building that formerly was used as an hotel, and 
near where in days of yore the toll-house stood. This point is the junction of the 
road from Danville, and from thence to the apex of Diablo there is but one route. 
As we ascend the mountain the pulse is quickened with each upward step, for each 
step adds a new glory to the scene, and when we reach and stand upon the summit, 
inhaling air, 

" Pure as the icicle that hangs on Dian's Temple," 

with our vision sweeping over the vast e^itent of country, we feel our hearts expand,, 
while our lips, in the language of poesy, exclaim: — 

" It is a land of beauty and grandeur, 
Where looks the cottage out on a domain 
The palace cannot boast of — seas and lakes, 
And hills and forests, golden grain and waves 
'Midst mountains all of hght, that mock the sun. 
Returning him his flaming beams, more thick 
And radiant than he sends them; 
Torrents here are bounding floods. 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 29 

And when the tempest comes, 

It roams in all the terrors of its glory. 

And then the valleys — ah ! thpy are 

The homes for hearts — the cottages — the vineyards — orchards — 

The pastures, studded with the herd and fold ! 

A free — a happy, grand and glorious country !" 

The view from the summit is magnificent — beyond all description. Standing 
there on a clear day, and overlooking the craggy precipices and deep ravines, which 
impart an air of wild grandeur to the immediate vicinity,' around the base of the 
mountain you behold, in all the elegance of their graceful outline and the beauty of 
their light and shadow, the admirably rounded foot-hills, gradually diminishing in 
prominence until they merge with the delightful valleys through whose groves of wide- 
spreading oaks and sycamores the eye involuntarily traces out the meandering courses 
of the sparkling waters, that after having dashed down their rugged mountain chan- 
nels, appear to delight to linger amid the scenes of dreamy beauty with which they 
are surrounded. ■ 

Looking north you see the rich, populous valleys of Napa, Sonoma, Petaluma, 
and Russiai) River, and in the distance the succession of mountain ranges in Mendo- 
cino. On the east you see the Sacramento and San Joaquin Plains, with their great 
rivers coursing through them, and the snow-enveloped Sierra Nevada; and towering 
high above all, at the extreme verge of the horizon, you can discern Lassen's Buttes, 
which, in a straight line, is distant from Monte Diablo, two hundred miles. On the 
south the noble San Francisco Bay, the Coast Range, and Santa Clara Valley form a 
picture of rare loveliness. On turning to the west San Pablo Bay with its numerous 
inlets, the city of San Francisco, the streets of which are plainly visible. Goat Island, 
Alcatraz, the Golden Gate, and the horizon-bounded ocean, complete a vast panorama 
of picturesque beauty and grandeur, which, as seen on a clear day, surpasses all effort 
of portrayal. 

Whoever has watched the coming of daylight, and seen the sun rise in ordina- 
rily clear' weather from the summit of Monte Diablo has witnessed one of the grand- 
est spectacles of creation. Will the reader for a moment think of standing on a 
point commanding a twelve-hundred-mile sweep of horizon, and after wondering at 
the huge changing shapes and shadows of the mountain pile lying below in the pale 
light of the moon, setting in the west, watching the growing white light of day lifting 
in the east and tinting the sky above the Sierra range with pale soft rainbow hues, 
then, preluded by a momentary intense white shimmer, seeing a burst of vivid ma- 
roon-colored flame break above the mountain crests two hundred miles away, and the 
sun spring up, a glowing globe of red fires, which flash with intensity, the same colors, 
as the rays touch the waters, spreading through the tule marshes in the track of the 
sun across the great valley. Turning then to the west, the shadow of the mountain 
from which the spectacle is seen lies softly, but plainly, defined across the western 
valleys and hills, with its conical shadow-peak high up in the sky above the crests of 
the Coast Range. 

But there is a much grander sight than even this. The reader may be surprised 
-when he is informed that a dense fog, so unacceptable to the denizens of the lower 
regions, affords this grander sight. We have seen several such in different parts of 

30 History of Alameda County, California. 

the world, and think them the most impressive and grandest of Nature's wonders, 
throwing the sun's rising or setting completely into insignificance. Far as the eye can 
reach, a slowly moving mass of gigantic, translucent vapors, traveling in stately gran- 
deur, lies spread out hundreds of feet below, utterly obscuring hill and valley, as much 
so as though they had been what they much resembled, the stupendous billows raised 
by a mighty storm, and, then, as the power of the sun's rays dispersed their force, 
might be seen peeping, through the ocean of foam first one, and then another hill-top, 
and the vapors, following the various inequalities of the land, might be seen tumbling 
over the hill-sides grand as Niagara's mighty cataract. None who have once seen 
this sight are likely ever to forget it. 

As the mists clear away the eye first turns its expectant gaze towards the blue 
waves of the Peaceful Sea, and there it is; and, if the season be spring, over the green- 
est of valleys brilliant with myriads of wild flowers; over the bay, and the Bay City; 
over the portals of the Golden Gate, until one's eyes drink in the sight of the Pacific 
as far as the Farralones de las Grayles, twenty miles beyond where its waves thunder 
upon this rocky coast. We can appreciate now the feelings which rAade Balboa 
speechless, when, from the pinnacle up to which he had climbed, he first looked upon 
this grand old ocean. In our own vicinity, we have to the south McGreer's Cafton, 
Moraga, Tassajara, Green, Sycamore, and San Ramon Valleys. To the north one 
glances over Diablo Valley, Martinet, the Straits of Carquinez, Benicia, Vallejo, Mare 
Island to the horizon along which extends, as far as the eye can reach, the snow-white 
peaks of the Sierra Nevada. This fascinates the eye as much as the west view of the 
Pacific. To the east one overlooks the smaller of the two peaks of Diablo, to the San 
Joaquin Plains and Stockton. 

Monte Diablo bears unmistakable evidence of having once been a volcano .of 
some force. A portion of the crater is still well marked and can be traced without 
difficulty. The igneous rocks lie along its canons from base to summit. The primi- 
tive slate and granite, with intervening ledges of quartz, crop out everywhere. Much 
of the range north and south of it partakes of the same character and must have been 
elevated with it. Limestone is found in many places on the eastern slope — an indi- 
cation to the mineralogist that silver will be found in greater -or less quantities among 
its mineral deposits. The height is three thousand eight hundred and seventy-six 

The New York Times is responsible for the following amusing anecdote about 
Monte Diablo, with which we propose closing this portion of our subject: " In early 
California settlement days, it was deemed ' the cheese ' for the adventurous Yankees 
to pay great deference to the Roman Catholic predilections of the aboriginal and abo- 
Mexican population. One sharp but illiterate chap, from somewhere near sunrise,, 
happened to fix his eyes upon certain rich lands in the neighborhood of Monte Diablo; 
and on a tempting occasion, when some saint's festival called together on that 
mountain all the local dignitaries of the church, our Yankee made his ' ten-strike.' 
After volubly impressing upon all who would hear him his intense respect and vene- 
ration for the only true church, and his love for her ministers (those who could convey 
the coveted lands, of course, being meant), he culminated in a brilliant idea. He had 
somehow learned that the Spanish Catholics were partial to the prefix ' San,' and he 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 31 

knew that it .meant 'Saint.' So, winding up a speech intended to be eulogistic of all the 
saints in the calendar, he said: 'Now, venerable fathers and laymen, allow me to propose 
that, on this memorable occasion, we add one more to the brilliant galaxy of sacred 
names in this beautiful land — one more saint to the glorious list that honors the Golden 
State; I propose, sirs, that the mountain on which we are now standing be hereafter 
and forever known as San Diablo.' It is recorded that the worthy fathers were for a 
moment in doubt whether to be indignant or pass ' Saint Devil ' off as a joke, and the 
question was never fully settled; but the ambitious sponsor, somehow or other, never 
got the land, and would always insist that the priests were a stupid lot of humbugs.'' 

Topography. — Alameda County is shaped like an L, fronting thirty-six miles 
long on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, and extending back about the same 
distance till it reaches the western channel of the San Joaquin River. The county is 
about equally divided between level land and mountains, the former being on the Ala- 
meda Plain along the shore of the Bay; in Castro Valley in the Contra Costa Ridge; in 
Amador, Sufiol and Livermore Valleys, and in that of the San Joaquin. The Contra 
Costa and Monte Diablo Ranges of the coast mountains cross Alameda County from 
north to south, running nearly parallel, and separated by a few miles, the former being 
the more westerly. Numerous spurs from each- project, at various angles, forming a 
series of beautiful and fertile valleys, all connected with each other, but having differ- 
ent names where thus partially separated by these spurs. Among the most important 
of these valleys are Livermore, Sunol, Castro, Amador, and Moraga. The princi- 
pal stream in' this county, and from which it derives its name, is the Alameda Creek. 
It rises in the Monte Diablo Range, near Livermore Pass, and running through a 
canon in the Contra Costa Mountains, near the old Misson of San Jos^ empties into 
San Francisco Bay, near Union City, supplying water-power for several grist and other 
mills on the way. The Alameda Creek was declared navigable by law, but it is 
such, in fact, to the extent of tide^water only. Between the northern limits of the 
county and the San Leandro Creek are many small streams, having their source in the 
San Pablo Hills and flowing a uniformly southwesterly direction to the bay. Of these 
the principal ones, commencing at the. north, are Cerrito Creek, Cordonices Creek, 
Temescal Creek, of which there are two branches, in the southerly one of which the 
Contra Costa Water Company have a reservoir, Indian Gulch, Sausal or Fruit Vale 
Cre'ek. San Leandro Creek, which is of some size and importance, from the fact of 
its being one of the sources of the water-supply of the city of Oakland, has its rise in 
Contra Costa County, flows in a southeasterly direction for about ten miles through 
gorges of the Coast Range, where it abruptly turns to the westward, crossing the 
valley and emptying into the bay. Its principal tributary is the Grass Valley Creek, 
near the junction of which with San Leandro is a reservoir of the Contra Costa Water 
Company. San Lorenzo Creek is made up of Cull, Eden, and Crow Canons, and 
Palomares Creeks, and flowing in a southwesterly course traverses some of the best 
agricultural lands in the world. Segunda or Dry Creek, empties into the Alameda, 
near Decoto. Mission Creek, a stream of some size and importance, rises in the 
mountains at the back of the Mission, and flows through the town. Its waters were 
the first of the streams of the county to be utilized, a flouring-mill having been built 

32 History of Alameda County, California. 

here at an early day. To the east of the mountains the principal Streams are: 
Corral Hollow Creek, which rises in San Joaquin County, flows westerly about ten 
miles, then returns in an easterly direction into the San Joaquin Valley. Arroyo 
Mocho flows from the extreme southeast corner of the county in a northwesterly 
direction near Livermore and becomes lost in the lagoon near Pleasanton. Arroyo 
Vall^ flows from the same quarter in a nearly parallel course with the Arroyo Mocho, 
past Pleasanton, and empties into the lagoon. Calaveras Creek rises in Calaveras 
Valley, Santa Clara County, flows a northerly direction, joining the Alameda at 
Sunol. Its principal tributary is the Arroyo Honda (Deep Creek). 

We have stated above that a range of lofty hills extends the entire length of the 
bay-front of the county, at an average distance of about five miles inland, and are 
designated by different names, as the San Pablo Hills, Contra Costa, and Coast 
Range. The highest elevation attained is at Mission San Jose, which is two thou- 
sand, two hundred and seventy-five feet above the level of the sea. These mountains 
are sparsely wooded with live-oak, manzanita, and chaparral. By deep canons, which, 
at intervals, cut this range, trails and wagon-roads are practicable. Leading from the 
Mission de San Jose eastward is the old Stockton Pass, the highway of the pioneers; 
and a short distance to the north is the Alameda Canon, through whose majestic 
gorges the Central Pacific Railroad winds its tortuous way. By Hay ward's Pass, 
which follows the course of the San Lorenzo Creek, San Ramon Valley is reached; 
while from San Leandro, the Moraga Valley is attained by a road following the bed 
of the San Leandro Creek. From the vicinity of Fruit Vale the redwood country 
of the San Antonio is reached by a road of easy grade. Through Indian Gulch is a 
toll-road, called the Thorn Road, leading into Contra Costa County. The northern- 
most road traversing the range is by the north fork of the Temescal Creek. Along 
the entire southern and eastern portions of the county are mountains and rugged 
hills, hardly fit for grazing purposes even. An exception occurs at the northeast 
corner of the county, where part of the San Joaquin Valley is included within the 

The San Joaquin is accessible from Livermore and the interior valleys by two 
routes, the Middle Pass, or Patterson Road, and the Livermore, or Mountain House 

Climatography.— The climate of California varies with almost every locality, 
preserving but one feature that is in any sense uniform — wet winters and dry sum- 
mers. During the winter snow falls to a great depth in the Sierra Nevada and in 
small quantities upon the mountains of the Coast Range; but seldom any in the 
principal valleys. Along the sea-board, and wherever the country approaches the 
ocean level, the winters are warm and pleasant, showers alternating with sunshine, in 
agreeable contrast. In the summer, the cold, northern trade-winds set in about the 
first of May and .sweep the coast regularly. The Spanish galleons, bound from 
Manilla to Acapulco, three centuries ago, steered for Cape Mendocino, where they 
would encounter the northwest trade, and run before it, with swelling sails, to their 
beautiful harbor. Cool, cloudless nights and delightful mornings attend these winds, 
but in the remote valleys, beyond their influence, the summer heat is intense and the 



Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 33 

air dry. In the valleys that lie near to the coast, like that of Alameda, Santa Clara, 
Napa, and the great Russian River country, the intervening chains of mountains 
break the blast and make the summers pleasurable— neither too hot nor too cold. 

In Alameda County the winter, or rainy season, though ushered in by occasional 
showers, usually commences in the month of November, when vegetation starts. The 
summer winds have died away, save those that blow from the south and come laden 
with welcome rain. It must not be thought, however, that we wish to convey to the 
uninitiated the impression that this is a season of continuous rain. Such is not the 
case. It is a season of showers, sometimes of several days' duration, followed by 
weeks of fine, clear, balmy weather, during which the farmer tills his soil and sows his 
seed. By the month of March the heavy rains cease, and occasional showers infiltrate 
the earth until May, when the verdure attains its fullest perfection and the country 
looks its best. Snow seldom falls in the valley, but it frequently is to be seen upon the 
summits of the hills, where, however, it remains but a few days, and frost occurs, 
severe enough to destroy the more tender plants, but not to interfere with the growth 
of grasses and many kinds of vegetation. 

We might here observe that the winter of 1882-83 was an unusually cold one, 
both snow and frost being severely felt. On December 30, 1882, there was the heav- 
iest fall of snow ever experienced in California. 

Except alfalfa the grasses are annuals^ This particular species is a coarse 
variety of clover, with deep roots, sometimes extending from ten to fifteen feet into 
the earth. It has a hard, woody fibre, about an inch in diameter, retains its verdure 
from year's end to year's end, and affords excellent pasturage for cattle. Roses 
remain in foliage throughout the winter, blossoming in sheltered places, while various 
species of evergreen shrubs and trees, unknown to the Eastern climate, at once lend 
a cheerful aspect to the landscape. The apple, pear, peach, plum, and other varieties, 
are denuded of their leaves, as at the East. 

And now comes the season of harvesting, which the farmers perform at their lei- 
sure, leaving their stacks unprotected and their grain in sacks piled in the open fields 
for months at a time. No rain ever disturbs their labors. It is the finest harvest 
weather imaginable.. The days are uniformly cool, with rare exceptions, enabling 
man and horse to accomplish the largest amount of work with the least fatigue. Dur- 
ing the forenoon, a good breeze springs up from the north, blowing steadily till night; 
but unlike the cold winds of the sea-board, it is tempered to a genial mildness by the 
fervid rays of the sun. From May until October the sky is usually cloudless, save 
with an occasional fogbank hovering over the valley, in the early morning, which is 
soon dispelled by the sun. There is but very little dew; vegetation dries up; the fields 
become sere and brown; the roads are exceedingly dusty, and a universal drought 
prevails. Yet, though dry, the grasses retain their nourishment and the stock thrive 
thereon until the winter's rain again descends and a new growth commences. 

These lengthy, dry summers are truly the perfection of this climate; the desiccated, 
cool atmosphere being a sure protection against malaria, hence fevers are almost 
unknown. The nights are positively sublime. Invariably cool enough to require 
thick covering. Sleep becomes a luxury rarely enjoyed in other lands. It is 
this peculiarity of climate that gives such perfection to the cereals, such luster and 
lusciousness to the summer fruits produced in Alameda County. 

34 History of Alameda County, California. 

Next come the hazy autumn days. The trade- winds have ceased; the atmos- 
phere grows thick with gathering moisture; the changing currents whirl the dust 
and leaves into weird columns; the south wind settles down to its work, and the drama 
of the seasons is repeated. 

In concluding our subject of the climatography of Alameda County let us 
quote from Lieutenant Maury, that eminent scientist whose fame is world-wide. He 
says: " The calm and trade-wind regions or belts move up and down the earth, annu- 
ally, in latitude nearly a thousand miles. In July and August the zone of equatorial 
calms is found between 7° N. and 12° N; sometimes higher; in March and April, 
between latitude 5° S. and 2° N. With this fact, and these points of view before us, 
it is easy to perceive why it is that we have a rainy season in Oregon, a rainy season 
and a dry season in California, another at Panama, two at Bogota, none in Peru, and 
one in Chili. In Oregon it rains every month, but about five times more in the 
winter than in the summer months. The winter there is the summer of the southern 
hemisphere, when this steam-engine is working with the greatest pressure. The vapor 
that is taken by the southeast trades is borne along over the region of northeast 
trades to latitude 35° or 40° N., where it descends and appears on the surface with the 
southeast winds of those latitudes. Driving up on the high lands of the continent, this 
vapor is condensed and precipitated, during this part of the year, almost in constant 
showers, and to the depth of about thirty inches in three months. In the winter the calm 
belt of Cancer approaches the equator. This whole system of zones, viz. : of trades, 
calms, and westerly winds, follows the sun; and they of our hemisphere are nearer the 
equator in the winter and spring months than at any other season. The southeast winds 
commence at this season to prevail as far down as the lower part of California. In 
winter and spring the land in California is cooler than the sea air, and is quite cold 
enough to extract moisture from it. But in summer and autumn the land is warmer, 
and cannot condense the vapors of water held by the air. So the same cause which 
made it rain in Oregon makes it rain in California. As the sun returns to the north, 
he brings the calm belt of Cancer and the northeast trades along with him; and now, 
at places where, six months before, the southwest winds were the prevailing winds, the 
northeast trades are found to blow. This is the case in the latitude of California. 
The prevailing winds, then, instead of going from a warmer to a cooler climate, as 
before, are going the opposite way. Consequently, if under these circumstances they 
have the moisture in them to make rains of, they cannot precipitate it. Proof, if proof 
were wanting, that the prevailing winds in the latitude of California are from the west- 
ward, is obvious to all who cross the Rocky Mountains or ascend the Sierra Madre." 

It will thus be seen that the wind, which has so general an influence upon our 
climate, comes directly from the Pacific Ocean, forces its way through the Golden 
Gate, and, striking the Contra Costa Hills, is wafted into the many delightful valleys 
of the conterminous counties. 

Soil and Productions. — The following remarks have been culled from " The 
Natural Wealth of California," by Titus Fay Cronise: — 

The soil of the plains in this county is generally a rich, black, sandy loam, from 
six to fifteen feet deep, resting on a substratum of sand and gravel, and is sufficiently 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 35 

moist to grow any description of fruit, grain, or vegetables, without irrigation. The 
soil on the foot-hills and mountains is somewhat lighter in color, not so deep, but 
gravelly and dry, and everywhere fertile. 

With so fine a soil and climate, and with so many facilities and inducements for 
its cultivation, the greater portion of this county, adjacent to the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco, has been converted into continuous gardens, orchards, and grain-fields; but much 
of the best land in the southeastern part of the county, east of the Contra Costa 
Mountains, including portions of the Amador and Sunol Valleys, is but partially cul- 

Thirteen miles southeast from Oakland, on the northern bank of the San Lorenzo 
Creek, is the garden from which Oregon obtained its best apple and other fruit trees. 
In 1846, John Lewelling, the pioneer nurseryman of the Pacific Coast, took a wagon- 
load of fruit trees raised here, into that State, which were among the first ever planted 
there. In this vicinity are several other extensive nursery and seed gardens, the soil 
and climate being peculiarly well fitted for horticultural purposes. Here, Daniel L. 
Perkins raised the hundred and thirty varieties of vegetable seeds exhibited at the 
Paris Exposition in 1867, for which he obtained a premium, and what proved more 
profitable, numerous orders for suppiles from the Atlantic States, France, England, 
Germany, Russia, China, Japan, and several other countries. The products of this 
gentleman's little patch, is singularly suggestive of the silent but effective influence 
the productions of California are exciting abroad. 

To illustrate the richness of the soil in this locality, and the proportions of the 
vegetables raised here, we mention the following facts: A beet raised in Mr. Lewelling's 
garden, weighed two hundred pounds; in 1867, R. S. Farrelly raised a carrot which 
measured thirty-six inches in length and thirty-one inches in circumference, weighing 
thirty-one pounds after the leaves were cut off. These mammoth proportions are 
not confined to the vegetables alone, but extend to fruits, flowers, and berries. Cher- 
ries of the Graffan variety, grown in Lewelling's orchard, in 1 867, were selling in the 
streets of San Francisco, which measured three inches in circumference; pears raised 
here frequently weigh three and a half pounds; strawberries, which are extensively 
cultivated, also grow to an extraordinary size. Mr. Pancoast, who in 1867 cultivated 
a patch of eighty acres, raised many berries weighing from one and a quarter to one 
and a half ounces each. 

Amador Valley, formerly the valley of San Jos^, where the padres of that old 
mission pastured their cattle, is now the great grain district of this county. It is of a 
triangular form about eighty miles in diameter, and nearly surrounded by low, grassy 
hills, being spurs of the Monte Diablo and Contra Costa Ranges. Its soil is a moist, 
sandy loam, producing good crops of wheat, barley, and corn, when less favored dis- 
tricts suffer from drought. Where not under cultivation, its surface is covered with 
thick crops of wild oats and burr clover, the most nutritious of all the native grasses. 
Less than twenty-five years ago this valley was a cattle ranch— twenty thousand 
cattle, fifteen thousand sheep, and three thousand horses finding abundant pasturage 
in the vicinity. But it is all fenced in now and no cattle except milch cows, working 
oxen, and horses, graze on the surrounding hills. 

The increase in the value of land in this valley, since it has been brought under 

36 History of Alameda County, California. 

cultivation, and its productiveness ascertained, has been very considerable. In October, 
1867, three thousand acres of the rancho El Valle de San Jos6 (at the lower end of it) 
were purchased for seventy thousand dollars; two years previously the purchaser had 
declined the same property when offered for thirteen thousand five hundred dollars. 

In Livermore Valley are located some of the largest grain-fields in the State. In 
1 867, Richard Threlfall cropped here four thousand acres, all embraced in one field, and 
averaged twenty-four bushels to the acre; some portions as much as forty bushels 
averaging sixty-two pounds per bushel. On the eastern side of this field, where the 
rays of the sun reached the grain in the early morning, while the dew remained upon 
it, it appeared almost solid enough to walk upon. The tall straw, nearly four feet 
high, was perfectly straight, and the compact growth of the ears rendered it impossible 
for the heavier to droop. When threshed, almost every grain in the immense field 
Was of the same size and color, pale and plump, as good California wheat always is. 
This grain farm gives employment to sixty men, one hundred and forty horses and 
mules; uses three headers, five reaping machines, and two steam threshers. In the 
plowing season, eighty acres are plowed, sowed, and harrowed daily. 

In reference to the products of this valley, the yield above stated, although quite 
large as compared with that usually obtained in other countries, is not quite up to the 
average in this locality, such large fields not being as well managed as smaller ones. 
On the Santa Rita Ranch adjoining, one hundred acres yielded seventy-five bushels 
per acre; a field of sixty acres, in the same valley, producing sixty bushels to the acre. 

Connected with the Amador Valley are two smaller valleys — the Alamo and 
Tassajara, both equally fertile. The whole of these valleys, and a considerable tract 
lying adjacent, were included in the rancho once owned by ]os6 Maria Amador, whose 
name it now bears. Amador, in 1850, sold this property to Americans for a trifle. 
In 1 866, one of his sons obtained a precarious living as a squatter among the hills that 
surrounded the valley in which he was borp, and which, under American enterprise 
and energy, hals since produced many million dollars' worth of grain. 

Pomology. — Let us now take a retrospect of another division of pioneer labor, 
in the fields of horticulture, which, though not so pretentious in its growth, at the 
same time exercises not less abiding influences on our well-being. It has been said, 
" Fine fruits are the flowers of commodities." A tree planted is an heirloom for future 
generations; it is a sign of expanded culture and civilization ; its shade as grateful to 
the wayfarer as to its owner, without diminishing his substance. The mission fathers 
early planted orchards of such kind as it was then possible to transplant from Mexico 
or old Spain; they had several varieties of pears, a few apples and almonds. Pome- 
granates, figs, olives, and grapes were more assiduously cultivated. The grapes, 
mashed and fermented in large rawhide vats, yielded an amber juice celebrated for 
its sugary and fruity flavor. With the expansion of settlements, such trees and vines 
were sparsely planted by the rancheros. On the advent of the Americans, fruit of 
any kind, and especially grapes, bore fabulous prices, inducing many, from the innate 
love of the occupation, others carried by the money point, to bend all their energies, sup- 
ported by capital, untiring industry and perseverance, to obtain from foreign coun- 
tries the choicest and best varieties, and acclimate them in our midst. Unfortunately 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 37 

the majority of trees thus obtained at exorbitant prices proved worthless, as not true 
to name, or not suited to the climate, or not satisfactory to public' taste; many were 
planted in improper locations, some dried up, and more were killed by irrigation or 
overflows. * 

A few fruit trees planted in the years 1851 and 1852 still survive. Alameda 
County, within hail of San Francisco, with the most perfect climate, possesses also the 
richest of soils, and admirable locations. Here a slope, basking in the full sunshine, 
fit to distill the sugar-essence of grapes; there a low, moist, cool valley, the home of 
the apple and plum; or a rich, mellow, alluvial soil, sheltered, cosy and warm, where 
the peach blushes as a rose, and gives challenge for its sugary juiciness. All this 
ground, if well cultivated, is abundantly watered by the dews of heaven, carried on soft 
wings to this their resting-place. The choicest varieties of grapes grow to perfection. 
Pomegranates, olives, figs, and almonds find a congenial home. Oranges require but 
little shelter when young, not more than in Italy or Spain, soon get acclimated, and 
the golden fruit ripens well. 

The experience now gained in the manner of cultivation, the selection of favor- 
able locations, the knowledge of varieties desirable for certain uses, the way of pre- 
paring them for market, and the ready foreign demand now created for these products, 
make the venture now certain of pecuniary profit, and is soon to be considered 
indispensable in mixed and advanced husbandry — which we must now diligently 
cultivate, if not wishing to be left behind in the race for prosperity and advancement. 
Thus, from five to twenty acres on each farm, planted with fruit suitable for drying, 
raisins, or wine, will make a gradual transit from the old ways of farming, without 
jeopardizing present sources of income, and will create a demand for Alden factories, 
raisin camps and co-operative wine cellars. Then it will be apparent how long we 
have remained in an indolent. Rip Van Winkle slumber of grain-growing to supply 
cheap bread to distant nations, and impoverishing ourselves for their sakes. 

Salt-Making. — Among the many productive resources of Alameda County 
that of marine salt-making is one of the most important. The natural advantages 
for prosecuting this industry are nowhere better than on the eastern shore of the Bay 
of San Francisco. A vast extent of land, designated on maps as "salt marsh," lies 
between San Leandro Bay on the north and the Warm Springs Landing, or Har- 
risburg, on the south, and between these points the salt works of Alameda County 
are located. These marshes are traversed in all directions by estuaries or sloughs 
putting in from the bay, very many of which are navigable, thus affording easy access 
to the salt fields and means for cheap transportation. 

In the " Second Report of the State Mineralogist of California, from December 
I, 1880, to October i, 1882," we find the subject most elaborately treated. It informs 
us that in 1848-49, on the shores of San Francisco Bay, native Californians gathered 
solar salt from natural reservoirs, which at high tides overflowed. The salt accumu- 
lated in these basins until it had formed a deposit of eight inches or more. When 
the natural deposit became exhausted, advantage was takeh of the lesson taught by 
nature, and salt works of the crudest forms were commenced," which led to the present 
extensive works. The lands were taken up first by launchers, mostly Swedes, who- 

38 History of Alameda County, California. 

sailed their vessels and barges on the bay. The salt was of very inferior quality, and 
was produced at great disadvantage, but the consumers of that day were easily satis- 
fied, and the price paid the producers well for their labors. Those companies first in 
the field were able to select locations best adapted for their purpose; those following 
them did not always succeed in finding fields so suitable. In 1862, John Quigley, 
said to be the pioneer, commenced work at Alyarado, or Union City. He was fol- 
lowed by F. A. Plummer. It is not surprising that when consumers became more 
fastidious, bay salt should have found it hard to compete with the better article 
imported from Liverpool and the East. About that time it was customary for mer- 
chants, both in Europe and the United States, to send out cargoes of assorted mer- 
chandise on venture, trusting to obtain for a portion such prices as would compensate 
for loss on others. It was not unusual to see large quantities of merchandise put up 
at auction and sellingat prices much below cost of importation, while other goods readily 
brought many times the cost price. This condition of things flooded the State with 
merchandise, against which no manufacturer could compete, and goods forced on the 
market soon acquired a reputation for quality they did not deserve. These circum- 
stances have always counted against home production, and it is only lately that Cali- 
fornia manufacturers have been able to overcome the prejudices then formed. What 
has been said of imported goods generally, applies particularly to salt, which it has 
been shown was badly made at the commencement. Still the manufacture went on 
and was more or less profitable to those engaged in it. On the discovery of the silver 
mines at Washoe, there was a scarcity in the market. It was not then known that 
salt in the greatest abundance existed near Virginia City, and all th? salt used in 
metallurgical works was sent from San Francisco and sold at thirty-five dollars 
per ton. 

In 1868 salt, works had extended from San Leandro Creek to Cenireville, a 
distance of fifteen miles, and seventeen thousand tons were produced annually. There 
were seventeen companies, with a capital of one million, two hundred thousand dollars 
invested in the works, and one hundred labprers employed. From that time to the 
present the quality of the salt has been much improved, owing to more skillful and 
more careful manipulation; and while the importation of foreign salt still continues, 
the quantity is smaller every year, and it is admitted that California is quite able to 
produce all that can be demanded. At the time mentioned there were six steam 
mills in San Francisco employed in cleaning and grinding salt, a large proportion 
of which was for domestic use. The capital employed in these works was two hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars. In 1866 these ground and prepared twelve thousand 
tons of salt. 

Salt is obtained from three principal sources — from rock salt, in which case it is 
extensively mined, and sometimes is suflficiently pure to be fit for consumption when 
simply crushed between rollers; from the concentration of natural brines pumped up 
from wells; and from the waters of the sea, or more frequently from the water of bays 
in which the sea water has become to a certain extent, although but slightly, concen- 
trated. This latter production is called bay salt. At the present time a large propor- 
tion of the salt produced in this State is obtained by this method, and the principal 
works are on the shores of the Bay of San Francisco, where the conditions required 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 39 

for the economic and extensive production of salt are found in the greatest perfec- 

The following analysis of the waters of the Bay of San Francisco — samples 
taken off Oakland Wharf December, 1879 — is by Fr. Gotzkow, chemist, tempera- 
ture 72° Fahrenheit: Chloride of sodium, 23.756; chloride of potassium, 0.470; 
chloride of magnesium, 3.030; sulphate of lime, 1.263; sulphate of magnesium, 1.837; 
bromide of magnesium, 0.025; water, 969.619. Equal to 0.297 potash, 12.695 soda, 
0.520 lime, 1.728 magnesia, 1.968 sulphuric acid, 16.900 chlorine, 0.020 bromine, in 
one thousand parts. The water of the bay is distinguished from sea water by the 
small proportion of potash and bromine. In the Atlantic Ocean, for instance, is 
found two and a half parts of potash and ten parts of bromine, against one part of 
the same in the bay. 

On the eastern shore of the Bay of San Francisco extensive flats, very nearly 
level, extend for many miles. They may be seen figured on Whitney's map of the 
region adjacent to the Bay of San Francisco, published by the State Geological Sur- 
vey, in 1873. It will be seen by this map that there is a large area suitable for the 
manufacture of salt, which for convenience of reference has been calculated into square 
miles and acres. The coast line, from the south line of San Antonio Creek, along the 
east side of the bay, to Mud Creek, and thence up the west side to Point San Bruno, 
is, by the scale of the map, sixty-four miles, and the area of swamp land, inside the 
tide land, from the points mentioned, is, roughly, one hundred and thirteen and sixty- 
eight hundredths square miles, equal to seventy-two thousand, seven hundred and 
fifty-five acres. 

There is a large area about the bays of San Pablo and Suisun upon which salt 
could be made, if the waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers do not too 
much dilute the sea water. It will be seen "by this that the production of salt on the 
shores of San Francisco Bay is limited only by the demand. The source from which 
the salt is drawn is, of course, inexhaustible. 

In writing of the manufacture of bay salt in California, it will be impossible to 
give a detailed description of each of the many works, for want of space, besides they 
will be found noticed in the industries of the townships in which they are located. 
Suffice it to say, in this place, that there are the following salt producers in Alameda 
County: Richard Baron; Estate of Captain Chisholm; Peter Christianson; Peter H. 
Jesson; John Johnson; Patrizio Marsicano; John Michaelson; Peter Michaelson; 
Andrew Oliver; Estate of — • Olsen; D. Pestdorf; United Pioneer and American Salt 
Companies; Charles A. Plummer; John Plummer, Jr; John Quigley, Alvarado Salt 
Works; J. P. Tuckson; Union Pacific Salt Company; L. N. Whisby. 

Earthquakes. — There is a sort of nameless terror about an earthquake to those 
who have never experienced one, and to many who have, the sensation is anything 
but pleasant. But they are trifles compared with the terrible thunder-storms and 
hurricanes that prevail on the other side of the continent. ' Hundreds of people are 
killed by lightning there, to every one that loses his life by earthquakes here. The 
thunder-storms and toisnadoes have this advantage, however: they send their warning 
signals of gathering, skurrying clouds ahead, to prepare people for the dire disaster 

^0 History of Alameda County, California. 

which may soon follow. The earthquake steals upon one when he least expects it. A 
sudden jarring of the earth, with perhaps a deep rumbling noise, followed by a quick, 
oscillating motion, which dies away in a gentle tremulous vibration, and all is quiet. 
The shock seldom lasts longer than eight or ten seconds. Many months sometimes 
intervene between these earth shocks, and then again we have known several to occur 
in a single day. For the last ten years they have been rare. 

The heaviest shock experienced in Alameda since its occupation by Americans 
was on October 21, 1868, when several buildings were more or less injured. The 
shock extended for several hundred miles along the coast, caused considerable damage 
to property in this county and other places, and taught architects the necessity of 
improving their methods of building, by bracing and strengthening their walls in a 
more secure manner. In the construction of chimneys, also, galvanized iron has been 
substituted largely for brick. Wooden buildings are considered earthquake proof. 
They are seldom damaged to any considerable extent by the shocks. 

There are various theories concerning the reason of these disturbances, which at 
present, however, are mainly speculative. It is possible that scientific research may 
eventually fathom the cause, if not prbvide a remedy. The electric theory has many 
advocates. In other countries the equilibrium of the upper air currents of electricity 
and those of the earth is established and brought about through the medium of cloud 
conductors as witnessed in the lightning's flash followed by the thunder peal. Here 
there are no cloud conductors during the summer months. The earth, it is supposed, 
becomes overcharged with electricity, which seeks an equilibrium with the upper air 
currents; hence the disturbance. This theory is strengthened by the fact that earth- 
quakes usually occur in the fall of the j^ear when the clouds begin to gather and the 
air becomes filled with moisture. " Good earthquake weather," is what old residents 
designate a warm, cloudy day preceding the winter rains. The " internal fire " theory 
has also its advocates. But whatever may be the cause, we much prefer an occasional 
earthquake to the frequent electrical disturbances that cause so much disaster to life 
and property in the Atlantic States. 

Aborigines.- — The beautiful valleys and mountain recesses of the Contra Costa 
afforded a grand home for the aboriginal tribes. Here they swarmed in large num- 
bers, went through the drama of life, birth, consorting, and death, with an almost 
stolid indifference. How far back in the course of time this race extends, or whence 
came their progenitors, no man knoweth. If, as some scientists assert, the very first 
evidences of the human race appear on the Pacific Coast (at Angel's Camp, Tuol- 
umne County), why should we doubt that they are the descendants of this primitive 
race? Wars, disease, natural phenomena, and other causes have conspired to destroy 
the original race from the face of the earth, or it may have remained for the pale-faced 
progeny of a kindred, yet far removed race, to perform the final act in the great 
drama of their existence as a people. Be that as it may, the great fact still remains 
that when the Caucasians came to this coast they found it inhabited by a race of 
copper-colored people of peculiar physique and habits, differing widely from their breth- 
ren of the East, the Algonquins. The district now known as Contra Costa was no excep- 
tion to the general rule, but was infested by a horde of these rude barbarians. To 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 41 

describe this people, their habits and customs, will be the object of the following 

■ It is generally suppo.ssd that the Contra Costa was originally inhabited by four 
tribes of Indians, called Juchiyunes, Acalanes, Bolgones, and Carquinez, who were 
all in all, a degraded race. Doctor Marsh described them as stoutly built and heavy 
limbed, as hairy as Esau, and with beards that would gain for a Turk honor in his 
own country. They had short, broad faces, wide mouths, thick lips, broad noses, and 
extremely low foreheads, the hair of the head, in some cases, nearly meeting the eye- 
brows, while a few had that peculiar conformation of the eye so remarkable in the 
Chinese and Tartar races, and entirely different from the common American Indian 
or the Polynesian. Restates further: "The general expression of the wild Indian 
has nothing of the proud and lofty bearing, or the haughtiness and ferocity so often 
seen east of the mountains. It is more commonly indicative of timidity and stupidity. 
The men and children are absolutely and entirely naked, and the dress of the women 
is the least possible or conceivable remove from nudity. Their food varies with the 
season. In February and March they live on grass and herbage; clover and wild pea- 
vine are among the best kind of their pasturage. I have often seen hundreds of them 
grazing together in a meadow like so many cattle. [If Doctor Boudinot only knew 
this fact, he would undoubtedly start a new theory that they are the descendants of 
Nebuchadnezzar.] They are very poor hunters of the larger animals, but very skill- 
ful in making and managing nets for fish and food. They also collect in their season 
great quantities of the seed of various grasses, which are particularly abundant. 
Acorns are another principal article of food, which are larger, more abundant, and of 
better quality than I have seen elsewhere. The Californian is not more different 
from the tribes east of the mountains in his physical than in his moral and intellectual 
qualities. They are easily domesticated, not averse to labor, have a natural aptitude 
to learn mechanical trades, and, I believe, universally a fondness for music and a 
facility in acquiring it. * * * They are not nearly so much addicted to intoxica- 
tion as is common to other Indians. I was for some years of the opinion that they 
were of an entirely different race from those east of the mountains, and they certainly 
have but little similarity. The only thing that caused me to think differently is that 
they have the same Moccasin game that is so common on the Mississippi, and what 
is more remarkable, they accompany it by singing precisely the same tune. The 
diversity of language among them is very great. It is seldom an Indian can under- 
stand another who lives fifty miles distant; within the limits of California are at least 
a hundred dialects, apparently entirely dissimilar. Few or no white persons have 
taken any pains to learn them^ as there are individuals in all the tribes which have 
any communication with the settlements who s.peak Spanish. The children when. 
caught young are most easily domesticated, and manifest a great aptitude to learn 
whatever is taught them; when taken into Spanish families and treated with kindness,, 
in a few months they learn the language and habits of their masters. When they 
come to maturit}' they show no disposition to return to the savage state. The mind 
of the wild Indian, of whatever age, appears to be a tabula rasa, on which no impres- 
sions, except those of mere animal natifre, have been made, and ready to receive any 
impress whatever. I remember a remark of yours (Mr. Cass) some years ago, that 

42 History of Alameda County, California. 

' Indians were only grown-up children.' Here we have a real race of infant.s. In 
many recent instances when a family of white people have taken a farm in the 
vicinity of an Indian village, in a short time they would have the whole tribe for will- 
ing serfs. They submit to flagellation with more humility than the negroes. Noth- 
ing more is necessary for their complete .subjugation but kindness in the beginning, 
and a little well-timed severity when manifestly deserved. It is common for the 
white man to ask the Indian, when the latter has committed any fault, how many 
lashes he thinks he deserves. The Indian with a simplicity and humility almost 
inconceivable, replies ten or twenty, according to his opinion of the magnitude of the 
offense. The white man then orders another Indian to inflict the punishment, which 
is received without the least sign of resentment or discontent. This I have myself 
witnessed or I could hardly have believed it. Throughout all California the Indians 
are the principal laborers; without them the business of the country could hardly be 
carried on."* 

The tribes inhabiting the Contra Costa did not differ materially from those 
in this section of the State, as they presented very similar characteristics, habits, 
and customs to those of the central portion of California. They were lazy and 
filthy. Doctor Marsh's assertion to the contrary notwithstanding, while, as to home, 
they were among th&fugitivi et vagabondi class. Nature had provided for them with 
a lavish hand, and all they had to do was to reach forth their hands, pluck and eat. 
No vain ambitions lured them on in the great race of life; no baubles of riches 
enticed them into hardships of labor, either mental or physical. They lived to die. 
Whence or why they came upon the scene of action, it was not theirs to inquire; and, 
"whither are we drifting?" was a question over which they stopped not to puzzle 
their dull brains. And who shall say that they were not as happy in their listless life 
as are we of the higher type who wrestle with the inevitable almost from our infancy 
to our dotage ? From an ethical point of view, and looking at the matter through 
the lenses of education, of course it could be said that their lives were worse than 
wasted; and when they vanished before the overwhelming tide of civilization, the 
world was rid of so much filth. But it is the old fable of the man and the lion repeated: 
seeing a picture of a man, the man remarked to the lion that " there stood the lord of 
creation." The lion asfked who painted the picture, to which the man replied, "I did." 
" Ah! " said the lion, " it makes all the difference in the world who paints the picture 
of the lord of creation; I should have painted a lion." And so it is in this case. 
Indian ethics are not our ideas of duty to self or man; and it is not improbable that 
they lived up to the light they had on that subject quite as near as do their successors. 

In regard to their costume, we have already said that it was of the most primitive 
nature, a slight strip of covering around the loins being full dress; but even this was 
not lisual, for the greater number preferred walking abroad perfectly unclothed. Dur- 
ing the winter the skin of a deer or other animal, or else a robe manufactured out of 
the feathers of water-fowl, or strips of other skin twisted together, formed the required 
protection against the inclement weather, yet such was their stupendous laziness that 

sometimes naught protected them from the chilly blast but a thick covering of mud 

an inexpensive garment at best. The wardrobe of the women was little more exten- 

*Letter of Dr. John Marsh of Contra Costa County, to Hon. Lewis Cass, 1846. 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 48 

sive, a fringed apron of tules falling from the waist before and behind,, and open at 
the sides, being their summer costume, while in the cold season a deer skin was added. 
Tattooing is said to have been common within narrow limits among the females, and 
by these marks were the women of different tribes distinguishable. 

Nearly as primitive as their costume were their dwellings, which in summer were 
a protection of branches, and in winter, awickeup. Of these latter Bancroft's "Native 
Races" says: "These are sometimes erected on the level ground, but more frequently 
over an excavation three or four feet deep, and varying from ten to thirty feet in 
diameter. Round the brink of this hole willow poles are sunk upright in the ground 
and the tops drawn together, forming a conical structure, or the upper ends are bent 
over and driven into the earth on the opposite side of the pit, thus giving the hut a 
semi-globular shape. Bushes, or strips of bark, are then piled up against the poles 
and the whole is covered with a thick layer of earth or mud. In some instances the 
interstices of the frame are filled by twigs woven crosswise, over and under, between 
the poles, and the outside covering is of tule reeds instead of earth. A hole at the 
top gives egress to the smoke, and a small opening close to the ground admits the 

" Each hut generally shelters a whole family of relations by blood and marriage, 
so that the dimensions of the habitation depend on the size of the family." 

It strikes us as a curious fact that the natives who roamed around the Bay of 
San Francisco had no canoes but used bundles of tules lashed firmly together, about 
ten feet long, and pointed at both ends, as a means of navigation. They were tolera- 
bly dry in calm weather on a river, but when rough, the paddler, who sat astride of 
them, was up to his waist in water, still, when needed, they would venture far out to 
sea on these. Indeed, it is asserted that the Indians of California, previous to the 
occupation by the Jesuit Fathers, had no other boats than those mentioned above, 
which were in use even at as late a date as 1840. Says Mr. Bancroft: "The probable 
cause of the absence of boats in Central, California is the scarcity of suitable, favorably 
located timber. Doubtless if the banks of the Sacramento and the shores of San 
Francisco Bay had been lined with large straight pine or fir trees, their waters would 
have been filled with canoes; yet after all, this is but a poor excuse; for not only on 
the hills and mountains, at a little distance from the water, are forests of fine trees, 
but quantities of drift-wood come floating down every stream during the rainy season, 
out of which surely sufficient material could be secured for some sort of boats." 

Of their language, but little is left. Here and there a word has fastened itself 
upon some ranch or town, and will be handed down through a few generations. It 
was a deep gutteral, not unlike that spoken by the natives of southern China, but 
that there is any philological relation between the two tongues we will not venture to 
assert, still there is a sufficient resemblance to occupy the mind of the studiously 

A short half-century has sufficed^to see this race become so entirely extinct that 
the sight of an Indian is almost a rarity. And what has done this ? Disease was the 
prime cause, for it is stated that cholera took them off by thousands in 1833, while it is 
said they died so fast that the living were unable to care for the dead. Whole tribes 
became extinct, it being reported by a traveler on the Sacramento River that all of 

44 History of Alameda County, California. 

one tribe died within a few days except a little girl. Then came war with its kindred 
calamities as another great decimator of their ranks. Contact with civilization had 
also much to do with it. Soon after the whites came among them, prostitution became 
general; the women no longer bore children, and thus the tribe gradually, but surely, 
died out, and no little ones grew to take the place of the deceased elders. Truly 
would it appear to have been a matter of destiny, for it was impossible that the two 
races could exist in contact. 

For disease their great " cure-all " was the sweat-bath, which was taken in the 
" sweat-house," an institution that was to be found in every rancheria. A fire being 
lighted in the center of the temescal (the term applied to the native sweat-houses by- 
the Franciscan Fathers), the patient is taken within and kept in a high state of perspi- 
ration for several hours; he then rushes out and plunges into the convenient stream, 
on the bank of which the structure is always raised — a remedy, whether more potent: 
to kill or to cure, we leave to the decision of the reader. 

The following graphic description of the experiences of a gentleman in a temescal^. 
we give to the reader as a truthful and racily told adventure: — 

" A sweat-house is of the shape of an inverted bowl, and is generally about forty: 
feet in diameter at the bottom, and is built of strong poles and branches of trees,. 
covered with earth to prevent the escape of heat. There is a small hole near the 
ground, large enough for Diggers to creep in, one at a time, and another at the top to- 
give out the smoke. When a dance, a large fire is kindled in the center of the edifice,., 
and the crowd assembles, the white spectators crawling in and seating themselves any-- 
where out of the way. The apertures, both above and below, are then closed,* and the- 
dancers take their positions. 

" Four and twenty squaws, en dishabille, on one side of the fire, and as many 
hombres, in puris naturalibus, on the other. Simultaneously with the commencement 
of tha dancing, which is a kind of shuffing hobble-de-hoy, the ' music ' bursts forth.. 
Yes, music fit to raise the dead. A whole legion of devils br0|ke loose. Such scream- 
ing, shrieking, yelling, and roaring, was never before heard since the foundation of the.- 
world. A thousand cross-cut saws, filed by steam power — a multitude of tom-cats- 
lashed together and flung over a clothes-line — innumerable pigs under a gate — all 
combined would produce a heavenly melody compared with it. Yet this uproar, 
deafening as it is, niight possibly be endured, but another sense soon comes to be 
saluted. Talk of the thousand stinks of the ' City of Cologne.' Here are at least 
forty thousand combined in one grand overwhelming stench, and yet every particular 
odor distinctly definable. Round about the roaring fire the Indians go capering, 
jumping, and screaming, with the perspiration streaming from every pore. The spec- 
tators look on until the air grows thick and heavy, and a sense of oppressing suff"oca- 
tion overcomes them, when they make a simultaneous rush at the door for self-protec- 
tion. Judge their astonishment, terror, and dismay to find it fastened securely 

bolted and barred on the outside. They rush frantically around the walls in hope to 
discover some weak point through which they may find egress, but the house seems 
to have been constructed purposely to frustrate such attempts. More furious than 
caged lions, they rush boldly against the sides but the stout poles resist every onset. 
Our army swore terribly in Flanders, but even my uncle Toby himself would stand, 
aghast were he here now. 

Geography, Area, Geology, Mineralogy, Etc. 45 

"There is no alternative but to sit down, in hopes that the troop of naked 
fiends will soon cease from sheer exhaustion. Vain expectation ! The uproar but 
increases in fury, the fire waxes hotter and hotter, and they seem to be preparing for 
fresh exhibitions of their powers. The combat deepens. On ye brave ! See that 
wild Indian, a newly-elected captain, as with glaring eyes, blazing face, and complex- 
Jon like that of a boiled lobster, he tosses his arms wildly aloft as in pursuit of, 
imaginary devils, while rivers of perspiration roll down his naked frame. Was ever 
the human body thrown into such contortions before? Another effort of that kind 
and his whole vertebral column must certainly come down with a crash ! Another 
such convulsion, and his limbs will surely be torn asunder, and the disjointed mem- 
bers fly to the four points of the compass ! Can the human frame endure this much 
longer? The heat is equal to that of a bake-oven ; temperature five hundred degrees 
Fahrenheit ! Pressure of steam one thousand pounds to the square inch ! The 
reeking atmosphere has become almost palpable, and the victimized audience are 
absolutely gasping for life. Millions for a cubic inch of fresh air ! Worlds for a drop 
of fresh water to cool the parched tongue ! This is terrible. To meet one's fate 
among the white caps of the lake, in a swamped canoe, or to sink down on the bald 
mountain's brow, worn out by famine, fatigue, and exposure, were glorious; but to 
die here, suffocating in a solution of human perspiration, carbonic acid gas and char- 
coal smoke, is horrible ! The idea is absolutely appalling. But there is no avail- 
Assistance might as well be sought from a legion of unchained imps as from a troop 
of Indians maddened by excitement. 

" Death shows his visage not more than five minutes distant. The fire glimmers 
away leagues off. The uproar dies in the subdued rumble of a remote cataract, and 
respiration becomes slower and more labored. The whole system is sinking into 
utter insensibility, and all hope of relief has departed, when suddenly, with a grand 
triumphal crash, similar to that with which the ghosts closed their orgies when they 
doused the lights and started in pursuit of Tarn O'Shanter and his old gray mare, 
the uproar ceases, and the Indians vanish through an aperture opened for that pur- 
pose. The half-dead victims to their own curiosity dash through it like an arrow, and 
in a moment more are drawing in whole bucketfuls of the cold, frosty air, every 
inhalation of which cuts the lungs like a knife, and thrills the system like an electric 
shock. They are in time to see the Indians plunge headlong into the ice-cold water 
of a neighboring stream, and crawl out and sink down on the banks, utterly 
exhausted. This is the last act of the drama, the grand climax, and the fandango is 

With the Indians of the Bay of San Francisco, the practice of burning their 
dead, with everything belonging to them, was universal, while those farther south 
buried theirs. Weird , is this scene of incremation. Gathered in a circle around 
the funeral pyre are the friends and relatives of the deceased, howling in dismal 
discord ; as the flames extend, so increases their enthusiasm, until, in an ectasy of 
excitement, they leap, shriek, lacerate their bodies, and go so far as to tear a handful 
of the burning flesh from off the smouldering body, and devour it. As a badge of 
mourning they smeared their faces with a compound of the ashes of the dead, and 
grease, where it was allowed to remain for Time to efface. 


History of ALameda County, California. 

As is natural to suppose, the theme which we now leave with the reader is 
endless, therefore we are unable to follow it out as it should be ; still, a work of the 
nature which we now offer is hardly the place to look for aught but a short notice 
of California's aboriginals. Where can such be better found than in the pages of the 
profound and elaborate work of Mr. Bancroft on the "Native Races of the Pacific 
States of North America " ! 

Early History and Settlement. 47 



" Let US depart ! the universal sun 
Confines not to one land his blessed beams. 
Nor is man rooted, like a tree, whose seed 
The winds on some ungenial soil have cast 
There, where it cannot prosper. '' 

THE history of any county of California follows so sequentially, and is so closely 
allied with the history of the Pacific Coast in general, and this State in particu- 
ular, that to commence the chronicling of events from the beginning naturally 
and properly takes us back to the first discoveries in this portion of the globe, made 
by the bold old voyageurs who left the known world and the charted seas behind them 
and sailed out into an unknown, untraversed, unmapped, and trackless main, whose 
mysteries were as great to them as those of that " undiscovered country from whose 
bourne no traveler returns." 

The Pacific Ocean was given to the world by Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who looked 
down from the heights of Panama upon its placid bosom on the 25 th day of September, 
1 5 13. In 1519 Mexico was conquered by Hernando Cortez, and sixteen years 
thereafter, in 1537, his pilot, Zi-menez, discovered Lower California. In 1542, a 
voyage of discovery was made along the California coast by the famous Captain 
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, on the 5th of July of which year he landed at Cape 
St. Lucas, in Lower California, and following the coast he finally entered the 
delightful harbor of San Diego, in Upper California, September 28th. This place he 
named San Miguel, which was afterwards changed by Viscaino to that which it now 
bears. Chief among these travelers, however, so far as the Pacific Coast is concerned, 
is indisputably Sir Francis Drake. Let it be our duty to see how this great navigator 
came to these parts and what he did. 

Captain Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth, England, on the 13th day of 
December, A. D. 1577, for the South Sea Islands, having under his command five ves- 
sels, in size varying from fifteen to one hundred tons ; in the largest, the Pelican, after- 
wards named the Golden Hind, he sailed himself, while the number of men in the 
whole fleet mustered only one hundred and sixty-six all told. On December 25, 
1577, he sighted the coast of Barbary, and on the 29th the Cape de Verde Islands; 
thence sailing across the almost untraveled bosom of the broad Atlantic he made the 
coast of Brazil on the Sth of April, and entering the Rio de la Plata, parted com- 
pany with two of his vessels, which, however, he afterwards met, and taking from 
them their provisions and men, turned them adrift. On May the 29th he entered the 
port of St. Julian, where he lay for, two months taking in stores and refitting; on the 
20th of August, he entered the Straits of Magellan; September 2Sth he passed out of 
th'fem, having with him only his own ship, and thus handed his name to po.sterity as 

48 History of Alameda County, California. 

the first Englishman to voyage through that bleak and tempestuous arm of the sea. 
On the 25 th of November he arrived at Macao, which he had appointed as a place 
of rendezvous in the event of his ships being separated; but Captain Winter, his Vice- 
admiral, had repassed the straits and returned to England. Drake thence continued 
his voyage along the coast of Chili and Peru, taking all opportunities of seizing 
Spanish ships, and attacking them off shore, till his men were satiated with plunder* 
He now contemplated a return to England, but fearing the storm-lashed shores of 
Magellan and the possible presence of a Spanish fleet, he determined to search for a 
northern connection between the two vast oceans similar to that which he knew to 
exist in the southern extremity of the continent. He, therefore, sailed along the 
coast, upwards, in search of such a route. When he started the season was yet young, 
still the historian of the voyage says that on June 3, iS79. in latitude 42°, now the 
southern line of the State of Oregon, the crew complained bitterly of the cold, while 
the rigging of the ship was rigidly frozen; and again, in latitude 44°, "their hands 
were benumbed, and the meat was frozen when it was taken from the fire." With 
these adversities to contend against, it is no wonder that he resolved to enter the first 
advantageous anchorage he should find. On June 5th they sailed in shore and 
brought to in a harbor, which proving unadvantageous through dense fogs and dan- 
gerous rocks, he once more put to sea, steering southward for some indentation in 
the coast line where he would be safe. This they found on June 17, IS79, within 
38° of the equator. 

There would seem to have been a very different state of weather existing in 
those days from that prevalent in the same latitudes at the present time, and many 
attempts have been made to harmonize those statements with what is reasonable. 
First of all, the statements of this chronicler, although a clergyman, must be taken 
cu7n grano salis. He was sure that no one could dispute his' statements, and he 
was loth, doubtless, to give this country, which Drake had named " New Albion," 
and hdd taken formal posses<;ion of in the name of Queen Elizabeth (in perpetual 
memory of which he erected a pillar and on it fixed a silver plate containing a 
likeness of Her Majesty, and the date — probably a redwood post with ^n English crown 
piece nailed fast to it — as an act of possession), the credit of having a climate that would 
more than vie with that of " Old Albion " on the other side of the world. Again it will 
be remembered that the northwest trade-winds which prevail along the coast are fully as 
searching and cold as the winter winds, and that to a crew of men just from under the 
scorchirTg heat of a tropical sun it would prove doubly piercing. Again there is a 
legend among the old Indians along the coast that there was once a year when snow 
fell in mid-summer. It is just possible, therefore, that such a climatic somersault may 
have occurred, and the condition of the weather been as described by the Reverend 
Mr. Fletcher. 

Be that as it may, the truth that Drake did effect a landing in a. " fair and good '' 
bay stands out boldly and unimpeachably, and to locate the place is now our task. 

Authorities differ widely in regard to this matter, and thorough research fails to 
establish satisfactorily to all, the exact situation of that body of water visited by Sir 
Francis Drake. From time immemorial it was thought that the sheet of water which 
laves the western shore of Alameda County — the present Bay of San Francisco— 



Early History and Settlement. 49 

must have been the place, and all men of thirty years of age, and older, will remem- 
ber the statement in the old school history to the effect that the first white men to 
sail into the Bay of San Francisco were Sir Francis Drake and his crew. Franklin 
Tuthill, in his " History of California," maintains that 'ground, and says : " Its (San 
Francisco Bay) latitude is 37" 59', to which that given by Drake's chronicler is quite 
as near as those early navigators, with their comparatively rude instruments, were 
likely to get. The cliffs about San Francisco are not remarkably white, even if one 
notable projection inside the gate is named 'Lime Point'; but there are many white 
mountains, both north and south of it, along the coast, and Drake named the whole 
land — not his landing place, alone — .New Albion. They did not go into ecstasies 
about the harbor — they were not hunting harbors, but fortunes in compact form. 
Harbors, so precious to the Spaniards, who had commerce in the Pacific to be pro- 
tected, were of small account to the roving Englishman. But the best possible testi- 
mony he could bear as to the harbor's excellence were the thirty-six days he spent in 
it. The probabilities are, then, that it was in San Francisco Bay that Drake made 
himself at home. As Columbus, failing to give his name to the continent he dis- 
covered, was in some measure set right by the bestowal of his name upon the conti- 
nent's choicest part, when poetry dealt with the subject, so to Drake, cheated of the 
honor of naming the finest harbor on the coast, is still left a feeble memorial, in the 
name of a closely adjoining dent in the coast line. To the English, then, it may be 
believed belongs the credit of finding San Francisco Bay." 

The question which has occupied historians for many years, and which has been 
asserted by them with didactic force, is that the inlet then visited by Drake is the Bay 
of San Francisco. This statement of the earlier historiographers was first refuted by 
the Baron von Humboldt, who maintained that the harbor then visited by Drake was 
called by the Spaniards " Puerto de Bodega," yet, how it could have borne this name 
then is hard to realize, seeing that it was not until nearly two centuries thereafter (in 
177s) that the port was visited by Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, 
who named the place after himself 

But why go searching up and down the coast trying to locate the place either in 
latitude 37" 59', or in 38° 10', when there is a bay which answers all the require- 
ments of the description given of it, located "within 38° towards the line?" In the 
bay which lies in the curve in the coast under the lee of Point Reyes, and which 
is marked on the modern maps as Drake's Bay, is to be found that place. The 
latitude given by the United States Government for the light-house located on 
the extreme southwestern pitch of Point Reyes is 37° 59' 36", which corresponds 
with the figures taken from the log-book of the Golden Hind, to within sixteen seconds, 
which is quite close enough for a calculation made by " those early navigators with 
their comparatively rude instruments." But is it not reasonable to suppose that a 
man who had made the sea his profession during the major portion of his life, and 
was at present sailing where no man had ever sailed before, and^who, at that time, had 
his head full of a project to circumnavigate the world, would be able to take an obser- 
vation and come within a small fraction of seconds of his exact latitude? It would 
appear to us to be presuming very much upon his ignorance to think otherwise. 

Having established to our own mind, and we hope to the minds of our readers, the 

50 History of Alameda County, California. 

fact that there is a bay in the identical latitude named in Drake's chart as the place 
where he landed, let us look still further into the matter and see if facts can be 
adduced to farther substantiate the assertion that this bay fills all the requirements of 
the one described by Rev.' Mr. Fletcher. First of all is an old Indian legend, 
which comes down through the Nicasios, to the effect that Drake did land at this 
place. Although they have been an interior tribe ever since the occupation by the 
Spaniards, and doubtless were at that time, it still stands to reason that they would 
know all about the matter. If the ship remained in the bay for thirty-six day.s, it is 
reasonable to suppose that a knowledge of its presence reached every tribe of In- 
dians within an area of one hundred miles, and that the major portion of them paid a 
visit to the bay to see the " envoys of the Great Spirit," as they regarded the white 
seamen. One of these Indians, named Theognis, who is reported to have been one 
hundred and thirty-five years old when he made the statement, says that Drake pre- 
sented the Indians with a dog, some young pigs, and seeds of several species of grain. 
Some biscuit were also given to them, which they planted, believing, in their simple 
ignorance, that they would spring to life and bear similar bread. The Indians also 
state that some of Drake's men deserted him here, and, making their way into the 
country, became amalgamated with the aboriginals to such an extent that all traces of 
them were lost, except possibly a few names which are to be found among the In- 
dians: " Winnemucca,' for instance, is a purely Celtic word, and the name " Nicasio," 
" Novate," and others are counterparts, with slight variations, of names of places in 
the island of Cyprus. There is also another tradition, which, if true, would put the 
matter of Drake's entrance into San Francisco Bay forever at rest, which is to the 
effect that at the time of his visit to this coast, the Golden Gate was closed with a 
wall of adamantine rock, and was only opened some years later by a mighty earth- 
quake. It is stated that the waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers 
passed to the ocean through the Pajaro Valley previous to this eruption. There is a 
bare possibility of this being true, and, if so, the oft-asked question, how could Drake 
sail so near to the great Golden Gate entrance and not discover it, is readily answered. 
Of course, all these traditions must be taken for what they are worth, but it does 
seem that they go to strengthen the idea that Drake landed at Point Reyes. 

But there are facts which go to prove the case, other than mere Indian legends. 
Titus Fay Cronise, in his admirable work, entitled " The Natural Wealth of Cali- 
fornia," says : " It is clearly settled that the place where he (Drake) landed is near 
Point de los Reyes. The locality will probably ever be known hereafter as Drake's 
Bay. The most conclusive argument that could be advanced to prove that he did 
not discover the Bay of San Francisco is found in the name he gave the country — 
New Albion. There is nothing about the entrance to this bay to call up images of 
the 'white cliffs of old England,' so dear to the hearts of the mariners of that country. 
Its beetling rocks, which must have been additionally dark and dreary at the season 
of the year when the great navigator saw them — neither green with the verdure of 
spring, nor russet by the summer's heat ; while near Point de los Reyes there is suffi- 
cient whiteness about the cliffs which skirt the shore to attract attention, and as it is 
' out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh,' the ' bold Briton,' longing for 
home, may have pictured to his ' mind's eye ' some resemblance to old Albion. 

Early History and Settlement. 51 

Besides, Drake lay thirty-six days at anchor, which it would have been impossible for 
so experienced a sailor to have done, had it been in our glorious bay, without being 
impressed with its importance as a harbor, on a coast so destitute of such advantages 
as this ; but he makes no allusion to any feature traceable in our bay. He never 
had the honor of seeing it." In this connection it may be further stated that the 
headland forming the point is composed of granite, which may have presented, at 
that time, a white or greyish color, and this appearance is still perceptible at certain 
angles of the sun's rays. It is urged that the bay at Point Reyes would afford no 
shelter from a southeast storm, and hence could not be the " good harbor " spoken of 
by Drake's chronicler, but it must be remembered that he was there in the month of 
June, and that at that time of the year all the winds are from the northwest, and no 
more secure anchorage from winds from that direction can be found along the coast 
than is to be had under the lee of Punta de los Reyes. 

Summed up, then, the matter stands as follows : , Favoring the idea that Drake's 
and San Francisco Bay are one is a general, sweeping statement, based upon no 
proofs, and only attempted to be sustained by those who dislike to acknowledge that 
the best harbor along the whole coast line was the last one to be discovered, or who 
wish to give to England's navigator the honor of. the discovery. On the other hand, 
pointing to what is now known as Drake's Bay as the place, stands, firstly, the indis- 
putable evidence of the log-book and chart made by Drake himself, which locates 
the place to within sixteen seconds, or within one-fourth of a mile ; secondly, the tra- 
ditions among the people that he met while here ; and, thirdly, all that can be said in 
favor of the Bay of San Francisco can be as justly and truthfully said of Drake's 
Bay, therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude from the evidence adduced, that to 
the present Drake's Bay belongs the honor of being the one in which that famous 
navigator spent his time while ashore in California. 

On the 2 2d of July, after having repaired his ship, and doubtless taken on board 
a goodly supply of fresh meat and water, Drake set sail for England, going by way of 
the Cape of Good Hope, and arriving in Plymouth, November 3, 1580, being gone 
about two years and ten months. He was the first Englishman who circumnavigated 
the globe, and was the first man who ever made the entire voyage in the same vessel. 
He was graciously received by the Queen (Elizabeth) and knighted. She also gave 
orders for the preservation of his .ship, the Golden Hind, that it might remain a mon- 
ument to his own and his country's glory. At the end of a century it had to be 
broken up, owing to decay. Of the sound timber a chair was made, which was pre- 
sented by Charles II. to the University of Oxford. Sir Francis Drake died on board 
ship at Nombre de Dios, in the West Indies, January 28, 1595. 

But there is a large amount of historical interest attached to this bay aside from 
the fact that it was the locale of Drake's sojouril. In 1595, Sebastian Cermenon, 
while on a voyage from Manilla lo Acapulco, was wrecked near Punta de los Reyes. 
This was doubtless the first shipwreck which ever occurred, on the coast of Cali- 
fornia. Nothing is known of the fate of the crew, but evidently they, or a portion 
of them at least, reached Acapulco, or some other Spanish sea-port, and reported 
the wreck. In 1602, General Sebastian Viscaino, under orders from Philip III. of 
Spain, made an exploration of the coast of Upper California, in the course of which 

52 History of Alameda County, California. 

he discovered the harbor of San Diego, on the loth of November. After remaining a 
few days he proceeded to the north, and on December i6th discovered the Bay of 
Monterey, which he named in honor of Caspar de Zuniga, Count de Monte Rey, the 
then Viceroy of Mexico. It was at first called the Port of Pines. We now come to a 
very peculiar entry in his diary, or log-book, which is as follows : " In twelve days 
after leaving Monterey, a favorable wind carried the ship past the port of San Fran- 
cisco, but she afterwards put back into the port of San Francisco." At a first glance 
this would seem to point to the present bay of that name, and would appear to rob 
Governor Portala and his band of adventurers of the honor of either discovering or 
naming the bay; and instead of its being named after the Jesuit patron saint in 
1 769, it was known by that name more than a century and a half previous. But let 
us peruse this diary still further. Taking up the thread where it was dropped above, 
it states : " She anchored, January 7, 1603, behind a point of land called Punta de 
los Reyes, where there was a wreck." This, then, establishes the exact location of 
the " port of San Francisco " mentioned above, which is the same as that of the 
present Drake's Bay, and was, doubtless, one and the same, for the wreck which he 
saw could have been none other than that of the ship lost by Sebastian Cermenon in 
IS9S, "near Punta de los Reyes." But there is still other evidence that Drake's Bay 
and the " port of San Francisco " are the same. A map was published in Europe in 
1 545, three years after the voyage of Rodriguez Cabrillo, in which a San Francisco 
Bay is mentioned, and also the Farralones, which islands were' named by Cabrillo after 
his pilot, Farralo. Now, it is well known that this famous navigator did not enter the 
the present Bay of San Francisco ; therefore, if the Bay of San Francisco and the 
Farralones are marked on this map as conterminous, it is more than reasonable to con- 
clude that the bay referred to is none other than the present Drake's Bay, which opens 
out directly towards the Farralones, and it is quite probable that Cabrillo himself gave 
the name of San Francisco to it. There is also a " Pacific Coast Pilot " extant, writ- 
ten by Admiral Jose Gonzales Cabrera Bruno, and published in Manilla in 1734, 
' which contains instructions to navigators for reaching the " Punta de los Reyes, and 
entering the port of San Francisco." This would go to show that the two places 
were contiguous, and it is more than likely that these " instructions " were compiled 
from the map mentioned above and similar ones, on all of which the port of San 
Francisco was marked, " behind a point of land called Punta de los Reyes." It may 
be further stated that the Russian navigators recognized the " port of San Francisco " 
to be separate and distinct from the present Bay of San Francisco ; for, when, in 18 12 
Baranoff, chief agent of the Russian-American Fur Company, asked permission from 
the Governor of California to erect a few houses and leave a few men at Bodega Bay, 
he designated that place as " a little north of the port of San Francisco." The Bay 
of San Francisco had been visited before that by the Russians and was known to be 
nearly sixty miles from Bodega Bay ; hence, we must conclude that they recognized 
some place quite near to the latter as the " port of San Francisco," which place could 
be none other than that laid down in the charts > spoken of above, which has been 
proven conclusively to be the Drake's Bay of to-day. 

For some unexplained cause, not much use had been made of the information 
gained from these trips, which were of frequent occurrence, and it was not for one 

' Early History and Settlement. 53 

hundred and sixty-eight years that any steps towards the permanent settlement of 
Upper California were undertaken. Under the joint management of Church and State, 
a plan with this end in view was commenced in the year 1683, but it failed, the State 
being represented by Admiral Otondo, and the Church by a Jesuit Father named 
Kino, La Paz being their point of operation ; but we are correct, we believe, in stating 
that they did not all visit Upper California. The settlement of the peninsula was 
finally undertaken fourteen years later, when sixteen missionary establishments were 
founded by Father Salva Tierra. The order which he represented falling into dis- 
grace in Europe, however, was banished from the dominions of Spain and Lower 
California in 1768, after laboring for seventy years. They wei^e in turn succeeded 
by the Franciscans and Dominicans, the former of whom, under the guidance of 
Father Junipero Serra, proceeded to the conquest and conversion of this part of the 
country. This Reverend Father is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as the 
Apostle of Upper California and acknowledged in history as its founder. 

To effect this conquest and conversion two expeditions were simultaneously dis- 
patched from Lower California, the one by land, the other by sea. The overland 
one, under the command of Don Caspar de Portala, the first Governor of California, 
reached San Diego on the first of July, 1 769, and after a short rest there, resumed its 
northward march on the 14th of the same month. Two schooners, the San Jose and 
the Principe, had been directed to follow up the coast, and a rendezvous appointed at 
the Bay of Monterey, described by Viscaino as a magnificent port, and which Galvez 
designed to occupy as the base of his new colony. 

After numerous vicissitudes Portala's expedition descending the valley of the 
Salinas reached its mouth October 1st. ' Unable on a hasty reconnaissance to find the 
" magnificent port " described by Viscaino, and misled by a fog-bank into the belief 
of another headland immediately north of Point Afio Nuevo (now the extreme 
southwestern point of San Mateo County), the adventurers continued their journey, 
and, on the 30th of the month, reached Point Corral de Tierra and camped on the 
site of the present town of Half Moon Bay. The headland to the west of them. 
Father Crespi, the chaplain of the expedition, called Point " Guardian Angel," but 
the more worldly-minded soldiers, from the abundance of mussels found there, gave 
it the name of Punta de Almeja or Mussel Point. 

In attempting to go further up the coast the ascent of the first ridge revealed to 
the observers of the expedition, far to the north-northwest, Point Reyes, with the Bay 
of San Francisco under its lee, and the Farralones to seaward, and confirmed the 
doubts which had, for the past month, distracted the leaders of the party, whether 
they had not long since passed by the famous port of Monterey, without finding it. 
A halt was called and a counter-march decided on. But, preliminary to returning 
from their unsuccessful search. Sergeant Ortega, with a party of soldiers, was dis- 
patched over the hills to the northeast, to explore and report on the character of the 
country to be found there. Three days were allowed for this examination, and in the 
meantime the men were permitted to hunt at discretion through the neighboring hills. 
On the evening of November 2d some of these hunters returned announcing the dis- 
covery of an immense arm of the sea, stretching inland. This was confirmed on the 
following day by the return of Ortega's party, who announced their glad tidings in 
advance, by the discharge of musketry, waving of flags, etc. 

54 History of Alameda County, California. 

Animated by this unlooked-for intelligence, Portala broke up his camp on the 
following day and struck out over the hills to the northeastward. From the summit 
of these the party looked down on our noble bay, which, in their admiration, they 
termed another Mediterranean Sea. They turned southward, with the idea of getting 
round the head of the bay and so reaching Point Reyes and the harbor of San Fran- 
cisco, lost for one hundred and sixty-seven years. On the evening of November 6th 
they encamped on the northerly bank of the San Francisquito Creek, not far from where 
Governor Stanford's house now stands near Menlo Park. Explorers were again sent out, 
but as these reported that the bay became wide and extended to an unknown distance 
southeastwardly, alarm at the rashness of their undertaking began to prevail, and they 
arrested their march. In fact their powers were spent, and it was well they decided 
to attempt no more ; for, to have pursued their journey further, in their exhausted con- 
dition, might have resulted in the loss of their whole party. The discoveries they had 
made it was important to preserve. Their provisions were almost exhausted ; several 
of their number had died, and more than half the remainder were down with scurvy ; 
the native inhabitants showed signs of hostility, and the winter of an unknown 
region was at hand. A council was again called, and it was voted unanimously to 
retrace their steps. Governor Portala would indeed still have pushed on, but yielded 
to the unanimous voice of his companions, and on November ii, 1769, they com- 
menced their homeward march. 

All their meat and vegetables had long been consumed, and their ammunition 
was nearly exhausted. Their allowance of food was reduced to five small tortillas a 
day. These, with shell-fish obtained on the sea-shore, acorns and pine nuts gathered 
by the way, or furnished by friendly Indians, and an occasional wild goose killed 
with a stick, furnished the staple of their poor food, as they toiled over their weary 
homeward march. They reached Point Pinos again on the 27th of November, and not- 
withstanding their distressed condition remained there till the 9th of December, search- 
ing in vain up and down the coast for that famous harbor of Monterey which Vis- 
caino had described in such glowing terms. Point Pinos, indeed, they recognized 
from its description and the latitude assigned to it ; but nothing else could they find 
corresponding to the description of the bay they were in search of In despair they 
at last concluded that the harbor must have been filled up by sand or obliterated by 
some convulsion of nature. All hope of meeting the schooners from whose stores 
they might have obtained succor, was abandoned ; and on the 9th of December they 
sadly prepared to renew their toilsome and dreary march towards San Diego. 

Before starting they erected on the south side bf Point Pinos a large wooden 
cross, on which was rudely carved the words, " Dig at the foot of this and you will find 
a writing ;" and at its foot accordingly they buried a brief account of their journey. 
Its text, as set forth in Father Crespi's diary, was as follows : — 

" The overland expedition which left San Diego on the 14th of July, 1769, under 
the command of Don Caspar de Portala, Governor of California, reached the channel 
of Santa Barbara on the 9th of August, and passed Point Concepcion on the 27th of 
the same month. It reached the Sierra de Santa Lucia, on September 1 3th, ei;itered 
that range of mountains on the 17th, and emerged from them on the ist of October; 
on the same day caught sight of Point Pinos and the harbor on its north and 

Early History and Settlement. 55 

south sides, without discovering any indications of the Bay of Monterey. Determined 
to push on further in search of it, on the 30th of October we got sight of Pqint Reyes 
and the Farralones at the Bay of San Francisco, which are seven in number. The 
expedition strove to reach Point Reyes but was hindered by an immense arm of the sea 
which, extending to a great distance inland, compelled them to make an enormous cir- 
cuit for that purpose. In consequence of this and other difficulties, the greatest being 
the absolute want of food, the expedition was compelled to turn back, believing that 
they must have passed the harbor of Monterey without discovering it. Started on 
return from the Bay of San Francisco, on November nth, passed Point Ano Nuevo 
on the 19th, and reached this point and harbor of Pinos on the 27th of the same month. 
From that date until the present 9th of December, we have used every effort to find 
the Bay of Monterey, searching the coast, notwithstanding its ruggedness, far and wide, 
but in vain. At last, undeceived and despairing of finding it after so many efforts, 
sufferings and labors, and having left of all our stock of provisions but fourteen small 
sacks of flour, we leave this place to-day for San Diego. I beg of Almighty God to 
guide us; and for you, traveler, who may read this, that he may guide you also to the 
harbor of eternal salvation. 

'' Done in this harbor of Pinos, this 9th of December, 1769. 

" Note. — That Don Michael Constanzo, our engineer, observed the latitude of 
various places on the coast, and the same are as follows: — 

"San Diego, at the camp of the overland expedition, 32° 42'. 

" IradJan Village, at the east end of the channel of Santa Barbara, 34" 1 3'. 

'"Ptoijit Concepcion, 34° 30'. 

'"Tfce southern foot of the Sierra de Santa Lucia, 35" 45'. 

'" Its laiorthern extremity at this harbor and Point of Pinos, 36° 36'. 

'" S'Qiiiat Ano Nuevo, which has Jow reefs of rocks, 36° 04'.* 

"TJae land near the harbor of San Francisco, the Farralones bearing west quarter 
aiorfl^, 3/ 3/, 

'"Point Reyes, which we discovered on the west-northwest from the same place, 
^supposed t« be 37° 44'. 

"If the commanders of the schooners, either the San Jose or the Principe, should 
)reach this place within a few days after this date, on learning the contents of this 
■writing, and the distressed condition of this expedition, we beseech theni to follow the 
.coast down closely towards San Diego, so that if we should be happy enough to catch 
:5ight of them, we may be able to apprize them by signals, flags, and firearms of this 
place in which succor and provisions may reach us. 

" Glory be to God," says the pious old chronicler, " the cross was erected on a 
little hillock close to the beach of the small harbor, on the south side of Pinos, and at 
.its foot we buried the letter." .On the other side of the point they erected another 
.cross, and caryed on its arms with a razor, the words: " The overland expedition from 
.San Diego returned from this place on the 9th of December, 1769 — starving." 

Their prayer for succor was, however, in vain ; it never reached those to whom it was 
; addressed. The schooners, after beating up to the latitude of Monterey, were compelled 
;to turn back to the Santa Barbara channel, for want of wa,ter, and never reached 

-*EroMbly^P eirp'^.in transcribing. The other latitudes are very nearly correct. 

56 History of Alameda County, California. 

the coveted port. They ultimately put back to San Diego, which they reached just 
in season to relieve that colony from starvation. The land expedition meanwhile 
prosecuted its weary march down the coast, encountering sickness, privation, and 
occasionally death, until on the 24th of January, 1770, it reached San Diego, whence 
it had started six months and ten days before. 

Father Junipero Serra, who accompanied this expedition, writes from San Diego, 
under date July 3, 1769, his first impressions of California, as follows: — 

" The tract through which we passed is generally good land, with plenty of water; 
and there, as well as here, the country is neither rocky nor overrun with brushwood. 
There are, however, many hills, but they are composed of earth. The road has been in 
some places good, but the greater part bad. About half way the valleys and banks of 
rivulets began to be delightful; we found vines of a large size, and in some cases quite 
loaded with grapes; we also found an abundance of roses, which appeared to be like 
those of Castile. In fine, it is a good country, and very different from Old California. 

" We have seen Indians in immense numbers, and all those on this ' coast ' of the 
Pacific, contrive to make a good subsistence on various seeds and by fishing. The 
latter they carry on by means of rafts or canoes made of tule (bull-rushes), with which 
they go a great way to sea. They are very civil. All the males, old and young, go 
naked; the women, however, and the female children, are decently covered from their 
breasts downwards. We found on our journey, as well as in the place where we 
stopped, that they treated us with as much confidence and good-will as if they had 
known us all their lives. But when we offered them any of our victuals, they always 
refused them. All they cared^for was cloth, and only for something of this sort would 
they exchange their fish or whatever else they had. During the whole march we 
found hares, rabbits, some deer, and a multitude of berendos, a kind of wild goat." 

His earliest recollections of the country he never forgot — they lasted to the end 
of his days. He returned to Mexico and was subsequently preferred to the high posi- 
tion of president of the missions of California. In or about 1783-84, feeling that old 
age was fast overtaking him, as well as to have some spare time from his arduous labors, 
he determined to visit some of the missions established in Upper California, to hold 
his last confirmations, and, having been invited to dedicate the Mission of Santa Clara, 
also to perform that ceremony. About the first of May he visited the selected spot, 
and on the 4th continued his weary journey to San Francisco, accompanied by that 
devoted fellow-countryman Father Palou, a brother Franciscan monk, a co-voyager 
to these shores, and afterwards his biographer, preferring to make his confirmations 
on his return. He had tarried in San Francisco but a few days when the distressing 
news of the illness of Father Murguia was received; he thereupon dispatched Father 
Palou to Santa Clara, who found Murguia sick of a low fever. Unhappily this worthy 
man never rallied, and on May 11, 1784, his soul took its flight, while naught was left 
to his followers but the consolation that 

" Death's but a path that must be trod. 
If man would ever pass to God. " 

The funeral took place, but the venerable Junipero was too enfeebled to attend; 
he, however, accompanied Don Pedro Fages, the Governor of the territory, to the 
dedicatory services of the mission, arriving on the isth. On the meeting of the two- 

Early History and Settlement. 57 

fathers their hearts were too full to speak; with eyes suffused in tears, they grasped ' 
each others hands, and finally in a solemn embrace, each sent aloft a prayer to Him 
who had seen fit in His wisdom to take away their revered brother. 

Of the life and death of Junipero Serra, much has been written; for the informa- 
tion of the reader, however, let us refer him to the subjoined paper which appeared 
in the San Francisco Chronicle, over the caption " N. V. S." 

Monterey, February 4, 1882. 

In the hasty, anxious life which most Americans lead, it is generally supposed 
that there is little room or even desire for that pursuit to which so many residents of 
the Old World devote their lives, and that not from the hope of reward, but from pure 
love of it. I refer to the love of antiquities — that searching into the memories of the 
past which seems to have so powerful a charm for some minds. It is difficult to 
divine a reason for this, unless it be that the sight of relics of a former time excites 
the imagination to a train of thought so agreeably romantic that we are impelled again 
and again to seek the excitant, as the opium-eater returns to his drug. At any rate, 
the feeling exists and is latent in American breasts, only we have nothing for it to 
feed upon. I say nothing, but to-night I remembered that we have something when 
my eyes were attracted by the brilliant moonlight of Monterey striking full upon the 
white cross which marks- the place where Father Junipero Serra first landed. The 
memory of a good man, who gave the labor of a long life solely to improve the state' 
of his fellows, certainly is sufficient to give to the finding of his bones a deep interest. 
Father Casanova, the present pastor of Monterey, is full of gratification with the 
result of his researches, and has kindly given some of the details of the discoveries. 

The ancient records of the old Carmel Church were brought forth for our won- 
dering eyes to gaze upon. They are, of course, yellow with age, and filled partly with 
the handwriting of Junipero himself, his signature standing out firm and clear, as if 
written but yesterday. These records contain quite an extended account of his death 
and burial, together with a description of the exact spot of interment. By means of 
this description Father Casanova was en?ibled to locate the grave of Junipero beyond 
a doubt, and thus made his recent discovery. The following is the passage referred 
to as translated: — 

Very Rev. Father Junipero Serra, D. D., President of all the missions, died on 
the 29th of August, 1 784, at the age of seventy-one years, and is buried in the sanc- 
tuary, fronting the altar of Our Lady of Seven Dolors, on the Gospel side. 

There reinained nothing but to face the altar of " Our Lady of Seven Dolors " in 
the sanctuary, and then commence digging next the altar on the Gospel side. That 
is what the workmen did, and their spades soon struck upon the stones covering the 
grave. Father Casanova produced a diagram illustrating the manner of formation of 
the grave and the' condition in which, it was found. Originally the floor of the church 
was composed of brick tiles. Tourists visiting the church admire these tiles so greatly 
that they even go to the trouble to dig them up, break them to pieces and carry 
away bits of them. In this connection he also stated that one visitor even went so 
far as to take his penknife and cut from the canvas a bouquet which was carried in the 
hand of a saint in one of the old paintings. This picture was much valued for its age 
and the association connected with it by the padre and the parish; but such consid- 

58 History of Alameda County, California. 

erations are as nothing to the hard heart of one in whom the love of antiquities has 
taken such an evil turn. 

As was said before, the floor of the church was composed of tiles. The graves 
were apparently constructed with great care, being plastered and hard-finished inside 
as neatly as the walls of a house. The cofifin was lowered into this plastered opening, 
and then large slabs of stone were fitted carefully over it, in such a manner that they 
were exactly level with the tiles forming the floor of the church. The tiles had grad- 
ually become covered with a layer of debris, which it was the first task of the work- 
men to remove. Upon reaching the slabs of stone covering the grave of Father Juni- 
pero it was found that the three covering the upper part of the grave were intact, but 
that those over the lower part had for some reason given way, so that about one-half 
of the coffin had been exposed to decay. The skull and ribs were found within, how- 
ever, excellently well preserved, considering the time that they have lain there. Cling- 
ing to the ribs were found considerable portions of the stole of violet silk, and its trim- 
ming of silver fringe, both blackened and crumbling with age. Upon being asked if 
he intends to pursue his investigations further, the padre replied that he will certainly 
do so. In fact he has already reached the graves of two other priests, and also of 
two of the old Mexican Governors of California, who were buried, it seems, in the same 
part of the church, but on the opposite side of the altar. In the discovery of these he 
• again went by the records, which pointed them out quite accurately. 

The padre says he intends to continue this search for these hallowed graves until 
he uncovers the whole of them, both of the mission fathers and of the Mexican gov- 
ernors. As a large number are buried there, and as the work is prosecuted with care, 
it will probably be some time before a completion is reached. It is then the padre's 
intention to have them properly replaced in the graves, the slabs of stone carefully 
arranged as they were originally, those wanting restored, and then to have each grave 
marked, so that in future they may be pointed out to visitors, with some account of 
the occupant of each. The padre gave no hint of any such wish, but the thought 
crossed the mind of the correspondent that it would show good taste and feeling in 
the many wealthy Catholics, who are doubtleiss to be found in California, if they would 
unite in the erection of a monument over the remains, worthy of the pioneer of their 
religion in' California. The people of Monterey would gladly do this, but no doubt 
the lack of means prevents it. Junipero Serra was the founder of every mission in 
California — twenty-one in all. His history, briefly recounted by his friend and fellow- 
student, Francisco Palou, in language, whose very simplicity bears witness to its 
veracity, is such an one that every heart capable of appreciation of the unselfish and 
noble in character must be filled with the deepest admiration by it. Protestants as 
well as Catholics must give honor to a man to whom it is so unmistakably due. 
According to a Catholic custom, a record of all deaths in Monterey and the Carmel 
Mission was kept by Junipero himself from the year 1770 up to the time of his death, 
in 1784. Each was written in a strong, bold hand, with the signature " Fr. Junipero 
Serra " at the end. Upon his death this record was continued by his successors. He 
made his last entry on the 30th of July. On the 29th of August Fr. Francisco Palou 
entered upon the record the fact of his death, the narrative of his life and circumstances 
of his death. 

Early History and Settlement. 59 

According to this, account Serra was born in the Province of Majorca, in Old 
Spain. He was a man of thorough education and unusual accomplishments. Before 
coming to California he had enjoyed the honors of high position both in Spain and 
Mexico. When orily a little over nineteen years of age, he put on the dress of the 
Order of San Francisco. He was a graduate of the schools of theology and philos- 
ophy, and was given the professorship of each in a royal university. These positions 
he filled in the most highly honorable manner. At this time he was in the receipt of 
large revenues and had good prospects for advancement to almost any position to which 
he might care to aspire. But worldly ambition of this kind had no place in his 
soul. Brilliant prospects, a life of luxury, associations which were doubtless pleasant 
to a man of his culture — all this he chose to leave behind him for the purpose of enter- 
ing upon a life of danger, toil, and privation, for which he could only expect a reward 
after death. Perhaps even the hope of thai reward influenced him less than the 
simple consciousness of duty. His first step was to resign his professorship. He 
then joined the College of Foreign Missions in Cadiz, probably because there he could 
obtain the most authentic information for the purpose which he had in view. In 1749 
he embarked at Cadiz for Mexico. The voyage occupied the tedious period of nearly 
a year — long enough to have cooled the zeal of a less earnest man. He arrived in 
Mexico, January i, 1750, with interest in his work unabated. At that time there 
were many missionary societies in Mexico, and Juniperb was sent by them to prose- 
cute the work in various directions, in each case exhibiting the same wonderful ear- 
nestness and peculiar adaptation to such a life. It was probably to this power which 
he possessed of throwing his whole soul into his labors that his success was mainly 
due. In Mexico he gained the friendship and close confidence of the Viceroy, and 
took position among the highest in the Church. 

In 1767 he was appointed by the General of the Catholic establishments in New 
Spain to the presidency of the fifteen missions in Lower California, then under man- 
agement of the Jesuits. He crossed the gulf and made his headquarters at Loreto. 
From that place he was constantly going out upon visits to the other missions, inspir- 
ing each with his own zeal. But even then he did not think his life sufficiently 
occupied nor his duty accomplished. He was constantly tormented by thoughts of 
the thousands of unfortunate creatures still in a savage state whom he knew to inhabit 
the great unknown region extending to the north. He had the true pioneer spirit 
forever urging him on, and he soon formed the resolution to embark for what was 
then a distant land. Not much was then known of California, but Serra had seen 
charts describing the Bays of San Diego and Monterey. In 1769 he left Loreto in 
company with an exploring party going north in search of these two points. He 
stopped on the way at a point on the coast near the frontier of Lower California, and 
founded the Mission of San Fernando de Bellicota. The next stopping-place was the 
port of San Diego, where he remained long enough to found the mission. During his 
stay at this place the exploring party went on, but returned the next year, having 
failed to discover the Bay of Monterey. In 1770 Serra again set out to find this bay, 
sending a party by land at the same time. As usual with most of his undertakings, 
the search was successful. Having landed at the spot so often mentioned in the 
descriptions of Monterey, and having taken formal possession of the country in the 

60 History of Alameda County, California. 

name of the King of Spain, Serra began the working out of the plan so long in 
his mind. 

He first founded the Mission of San Carlos de Monterey, which always remained 
the central point of his operations. With this as his headquarters, he went out from 
time to time into various parts of the country, and one by one established and encour- 
aged into a flourishing condition all the other missions of California. As before 
stated, they were twenty-one in all. Taking into consideration the very small num- 
ber of white men who assisted him in these labors, the rapidity of his success was 
something remarkable. There is no doubt that it is to be ascribed to the kindness^ 
gentleness, and ever-enduring patience which he invariably exhibited toward the 
Indians. In the construction of the churches, for instance, upon which we look with 
so much astonishment when told that they were built by the traditionally lazy Indian,, 
it is very likely that he employed large numbers upon the work, in order that it should 
not bear too heavily upon individuals. He certainly employed methods of great. 
wisdom in the management of these ignorant creatures, and could he have beers 
endowed with a miraculous life of several hundred years, might well have given the 
lie to the oft-repeated complaints of Americans, that it is impossible to civilize the 
Indians. But it is too late now for us to study his methods. Only a handful of 
Indians remain to meet yearly on the day of San Carlos and raise their quavering 
chant over the grave of Junipero. As a natiiral result of his treatment of them, the 
Indians came to look upon Serra almost with adoration. They loved him Hfor his 
gentleness, they respected him for his firmness, and they admired him for his abihty. 
But every life, however valuable, must finally draw to a close, and in August, 1784,. 
Junipero felt that his end was approaching. On the morning of the 27th, being very- 
ill, he began to prepare for death. 

He first confessed himself to his friend, Francisco Palou, and went through the 
ceremonies of the dying. Then, ill and suffering as he was, he went on foot to the 
church to receive the sacrament. The building was crowded with both whites and 
Indians, drawn thither by a common grief. At the beginning of the ceremony the 
hymn " Tanium Ergo" was sung, and according to the record Junipero himself joined 
in the singing with a " high, strong voice." We can easily realize that the congrega- 
tion became so much affected upon hearing him sing his own death chant that they 
were unable to sing more, and, choking with emotion, sat listening, while the dying 
man's voice finished it alone. He then received the sacrament upon his knees, and- 
recited thanks, according to the ritual, in a distinct voice. This ceremony over he- 
returned to his cell, but did not lie down nor take off any of his clothing. . In the night 
he asked Palou to administer holy unction to him and join with him in the recital of 
the penitential psalms and litanies. The remainder of the night he passed in giving 
thanks to God, sometimes kneeling and sometimes sitting upon the floor. Early the 
next morning he asked Palou to give him plenary indulgence, and once more con- 
fessed himself Shortly afterwards the Captain and the Chaplain of a Spanish vessel 
which was then in the harbor came in. Serra received them in his usual manner 
when in health, cordially, and embracing the Chaplain with warmth, he thanked 
God that these visitors from afar, who had traversed so much of land and sea, had 
come in time to throw a little dirt on his body. Conversing with Palou, he expressed, 
some anxiety and asked him to read the recommendation of the soul. 

Early History and Settlement. 61 

He then said that he feh comforted, and thanked God that he had no fear. 
After a time he asked for a little broth, and was supported into the kitchen, where he 
sat down and drank a little. He was assisted to his bed, and no sooner touched it 
then he fell back in death. Having been for some time expecting his end, he had 
ordered his own coffin to be made by the carpenter of the mission. This was now 
brought out, and the body placed in it without changing the clothing. It was then 
carried to the church to await burial. The church bell notified the people of the 
event, and all gathered within for a last look at the dead face of their beloved friend and 
benefactor. They gathered closely around the coffin and attempted to secure pieces 
of his clothing to preserve as sacred relics. They were with difficulty prevented from 
doing this by the promise that a certain tunic, which he had been in the habit of 
wearing in life, should be divided among them. A guard was placed over the body, 
but notwithstanding the close watch which was kept, some part of the vestment was 
taken away in the night. The funeral ceremonies were conducted with great state, 
people coming from every direction to take part in it. The solemn tolling of the 
church bells and the firing of salutes by the vessel in the harbor, added to the impres- 
siveness of the occasion. Such is the account of the life, death, and burial of Junipero 
Serra, as. written in the records by his friend Francisco Palou, without comment or 
exaggeration. And now those bones, so solemnly laid to rest on that day, are once 
more brought forth to the light in order that the memory of such a character may not 
be entirely forgotten. ~ 

While dealing with the march of Captain Juan Bautista, of the Portala party, from 
Monterey, when seeking for San Francisco, Father Palou, California's first historian, 
makes mention of the region in which Alameda County is now located, in these words : 
" In the valley of San Jose, the party coming up by land, saw some animals which they 
took for cattle, though they could not imagine where they came from; and, supposing 
they were wild and would scatter the tame ones they were driving, the soldiers made 
after them and succeeded in killing three, which were so large that a mule could 
with difficulty carry one, being of the size of an ox, and with horns like those of a 
deer, but so long that their tips were eight feet apart. This was their first view of 
the elk. The soldiers made the observation that they could not run against the wind 
by reason of their monstrous antlers." 

It is but reasonable to suppose that the valley called San Josd by Father Palou 
is that portion of our county situated at its southern end, and where was subsequently 
erected the mission bearing that name. It is not likely that the Santa Clara Valley 
was meant, for that district was then called San Bernardino, and the Pueblo of San 
Jos^ was not established until November 29, 1777, while the holy father speaks of the 
year 1773; besides we know that a portion of Mufray Township is still known as El 
Valle de San Jos4 and the gentle slope in what is now the district of Washington 
Comers, the Mission and Harrisburg is not unfrequently designated the San Jos^ 
Valley. Palou goes on to remark that " after the presidio and before the mission was 
established (in San Francisco) an exploration of the interior was organized, as usual, 
by sea (the bay) and land. Point San Pablo was given as the rendezvous, but the 
Captain of the presidio (Moraga), who undertook in person to lead the land party, 
failed to appear there, having, with a desire to shorten the distance, entered a caiion 

62 History of Alameda County, California. 

somewhere near the head of the bay, which took him over to the San Joaquin River. 
So he discovered that stream." Thus it is plain that one party had proceeded down 
the San Mateo side of the bay, crossed over to its eastern shore, where, coming to the 
spot where now stands the hamlet of Niles, and, following the rocky banks of the 
Alameda Creek, ultimately came into the Livermore Valley, crossing which they 
emerged into the wide expanse of territory through which flows the San Joaquin, 
which Moraga named in honor of his brother. 

Let us now turn to another portion of the history of this section of the State 
anterior to the establishment of the Mission San Jos^ and which treats us to the first 
official prominence of our county. 

During the Gubernatorial rigime of Don Felipe de Neve, which commenced in 
December; 1774, and closed September, 1782, reports on the topography, character, 
and condition of Upper California, and what situations were most suitable for estab- 
lishments, were frequently made to His Most Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, 
through the Viceroy in Mexico. The country from north to south, from San Diego 
to San Francisco, then the Dan and Beersheba of our State, was carefully examined 
and permission sought to locate two pueblos or towns, viz.: That tract of land, now 
Los Angeles, which lies contiguous to the river La Fortincula, one hundred and 
twenty-six miles from Sa.n Diego, and six from the Mission of San Gabriel, and also 
that tract on the margin of the river Guadalupe, seventy-eight miles from the Presidio 
of Monterey, forty-eight from that of San Francisco, and two miles and a quarter 
from the Mission of Santa Clara. The Pueblo of San Jose became subject to annual 
inundations, and, after protracted delays (during the administration of Don Diego de 
Borica between the years 1 794, and" 1 800), the village was moved to higher ground, in 
1797. To effect this relief, as well as to establish another pueblo, to be called Branciforte, 
Borica. dispatched Don Pedro de Allerni, with instructions to examine the country 
and report to him those sites that he thought most convenient for the purpose. This 
he duly transmitted, as follows: — 

"Having examined the points set forth in the- foregoing Superior Official Com- 
munication, as well as those requiring me to set forth all that I might think necessary, 
I might reply as follows: The principal object and view of the whole matter may be 
reduced to the project formed by Don Jose Maria Beltram, and forwarded by the 
Royal Tribunal de Mentas to the Most Excellent Viceroy, in relation to the establish- 
ing of a villa, or poblacion; and its being necessary to remember that in order to 
attain the desired end an eye must be had to such favorable circumstances as are 
required to give the inhabitants of the same the necessary advantages, such as a 
plentiful supply of water, wood, irrigable and arable lands, forest, pastures, stone, lime 
or earth for adobes; and having been commissioned to this end for the examination,, 
which I made with the Senor Governor, Don Diego Borica, of the country, from the 
Mission of Santa Cruz, Arroyo del Pajaro, and the Mission of Santa Clara, to THE. 
PLACE OF THE Alameda, and the country around the Presidio and the Fort of San 
Francisco, and the mission of the same name. After a careful and scrupulous exam- 
ination of these places with the Engineer Extraordinary, Don Alberto de Cardoba, I 
found that THE PLACE OF THE Alameda, although it contains a creek, still that it 
affords but little water, and that the channel is so deep * that it is difficult to obtain 

*Don Alberni must here refer to the precipitous banks of the stream, and not to the depth of its water. 

Early History and Settlement. 63 

water therefrom for irrigating the extensive plains of what appears to be good lands; 
but as the place is without fuel, timber, and pasturage, which cannot be obtained save 
at the distance of many leagues, it is clear that it is unsuitable for the project under 

We have not the faintest hesitation in claiming " the place of the Alameda " as 
the Alameda Creek of to-day, for its wooded banks when first seen by these explorers 
might easily have led them to suppose it an avenue or grove of graceful willows and 
silver-barked sycamores. But how it was that he found no water for irrigating pur- 
poses, no wood, and no site for a village, is to us incomprehensible, when it is consid- 
ered that now there is enough water the year round for both agricultural and pastoral 
purposes. The present sites of Alameda and Oakland were densely covered with fine 
old oaks, the giant redwoods reared their tall heads to the sky in the hills near where 
now East Oakland stands, while since that time no less than four prosperous villages 
have risen on the river's banks, viz.: Alvarado, Centreville, Niles, and Suiiol. 

In following the chronological order of events, it now becomes our duty to 
notice the founding of the Mission de San Jos^ aptly termed " the cradle of Alameda 
County." While Diego de Borica was yet Governor of Upper California, on June 
II, 1797, this grand old relic was established on as fair a site as is to be found under 
the blue canopy of heaven, and how, and by whom, the following statement, to be 
found in one of the huge calf-bound Spanish tomes in which were entered with the 
most scrupulous care and neatness the births, marriages, and deaths and the general 
spiritual and temporal welfare of the community under its jurisdiction, will explain: — 

" The Mission San Jos^ was founded at the expense of the Catholic King of 
Spain, Charles IV. — God save him — and by order of the Marquis of Branciforte, Vice- 
roy and General Governor of N. S. The San ]os6 Mission commenced on Sunday, 
I ith of June, 1797, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. I, the undersigned. President 
of these Missions of New California, placed by His Majesty under the care of the 
apostolical college of the propaganda fide of St. Fernando de Mexico, blessed water, 
the place, and a big cross, and • with great veneration we hoisted it. Irtimediately 
after we sang the litanies of the Saints, and I celebrated the holy sacrifice of the 
mass and preached to the army and to the native Indians who were there, and we 
ended the ceremony singing solemnly the Te Deum. At the same time I appointed 
for the first missionaries Rev. Fr. Ysidoro Barcenilla and Rev. Friar Augustine Merino, 
A. M. [Signed] Friar Francisco Lamen." 

Thus was the Mission San Josd established, ten miles to the north of the pueblo 
of that name and forty to the east of San Francisco, on a plateau indenting the 
Contra Costa Hills and facing the southern extremity of the Bay of San Francisco. 
Behind it were the beautiful Calaveras and Sunol Valleys; Mission Peak rose imme- 
diately in its rear like a giant sentinel indexing its location; while, in its vicinity, 
nature had abundantly supplied every want. Here was a pellucid stream of sweetest 
water perennially running from never-failing springs; here, too, were the paramount 
advantages of climate; wood was abundant for building purposes and for fuel; killing 
frosts were unknown; an embarcadero was not far distant, and within an hour's walk 
were warm springs, possessed of the most effective healing qualities. What more 
was needed? From this point of vantage a view of unsurpassed loveliness lay before 

64 History of Alameda County, California. 

them — a vast level plain promising the rarest fertility. At their feet was the wide 
expanse of the glorious bay, and to the right and left the splendid chains of the 
Contra Costa and the Coast Range. The first building erected was a chapel, a 
small adobe edifice which was enlarged by seven varas in the second year of its exist- 
ence. A wall forty-seven varas long, four high and six wide, thatched with tules, was 
constructed, water flumes laid, and, being in the presidial jurisdiction of San Fran- 
cisco, soldiers were sent from there to keep guard over it, and bring the natives in for 
purposes of education. 

In the establishment of missions the three agencies brought to bear were the 
military, the civil, and the religious, being each represented by the Presidio, or garri- 
son; the Pueblo, the town or civic community; and the Mission, the church, which 
played the most prominent part. Says one writer: "The Spaniards had then, what 
we are lacking to-day — a complete municipal system. Theirs was derived from the 
Romans. Under the civil Roman law, and the Gothic, Spanish and Mexican laws, 
municipal communities were never incorporated into artificial powers, with a common 
seal and perpetual succession, as with us under English and American laws; conse- 
quently, under the former, communities in towns held their lands in common; when 
thirty families had located on a spot, the pueblo or town was a fact. They were not 
incorporated, because the law did not make it a necessity, a general law or custom 
having established the system. The right to organize a local government, by the 
election of an Alcalde or Mayor, and a Town Council, which was known as an ayun- 
tamiento, was patent. The instant the poblacion was formed, it became thereby enti- 
tled to four leagues of land and the pobladors, citizens, held it in pro indivisa. The 
title was a natural right. 

" The missions were designed for the civilization and conversion of the Indians. 
The latter were instructed in the mysteries of religion (so far as they could compre- 
hend them) and the arts of peace. Instruction of the savage in agriculture and 
manufactures, as well as in prayers and elementary education, was the padre's busi- 
ness. The soldiers protected them from the hostility of the intractable natives, hunted 
down the latter and brought them within the confines of the mission to labor and 

In his able history of the Catholic Church in California, Father Gleeson tells us 
that the missions were usually quadrilateral buildings, two stories high, inclosing a 
court-yard ornamented with fountains and trees, the whole consisting of the church, 
father's apartments, store-houses, barracks, etc. The quadrilateral sides were each 
about six hundred feet in length, one of which was partly occupied by the church. 
Within the quadrangle and corresponding with the second story was a gallery 
running round the entire structure and opening upon the work-shops, store-rooms, and 
other apartments. 

The entire management of each establishment was under the care of two Relig- 
ious; the elder attended to the interior and the younger to the exterior administra- 
tion. One portion of the building, which was called the monastery, was inhabited 
by the young Indian girls. There, under the care of approved matrons, they were 
carefully trained and instructed in those branches necessary for their condition in 
life. They were not permitted to leave till of an age .to be married, and this with 

Early History and Settlement. 65 

the view of preserving their morality. In the schools those who exhibited more 
talent than their companions were taught vocal and instrumental music, the latter 
consisting of the flute, horn, and violin. In the mechanical departments, too, the 
most apt were 'promoted to the position of foremen. The better to preserve the 
morals of all, none of the whites, except those absolutely necessary, were employed 
at the mission. 

The daily routine at each establishment was about the same as that followed 
by the Jesuits in Lower California. At sunrise they arose and proceeded to church, 
where, after morning prayer, they assisted at the holy sacrifice of the mass. Break-- 
fast next followed, when they proceeded to their respective employments. Toward 
noon they returned to the mission and spent the time from then till two o'clock 
between dinner and repose; after which they again repaired to their work and 
remained engaged till the evening angelus, about an hour before sundown. All then 
betook themselves to the church for evening devotions, which consisted Of the ordinary 
family prayers and the rosary, except on special occasions, when other devotional 
exercises were added. After supper, which immediately followed, they amused them- 
selves in divers sports, games, and dancing, till the hour for repose. Their diet, of 
which the poor of any country might be justly envious, consisted of an abundance 
of excellent beef and mutton, with vegetables in the season. Wheaten cakes and 
puddings, or porridges, called " atole and pinole," also formed a portion of the repast. 
The dress was, for the males, linen shirts, pants, and a blanket to be used as an over- 
coat. The women received each, annually, two undergarments, a gown, and a blanket. 
In years of plenty, after the missions became rich, the fathers distributed all the surplus 
moneys among them in clothing and trinkets. Such was the general character of the 
early missions established in Upper California. 

Let us now briefly consider what was the character and condition of the Indian 
on the arrival of the Spanish fathers. For veracity's sake we must aver that the 
Californian Indian was anything but an easy subject for civilization. Knowledge he 
had none; his religion or morals were of the crudest form, while all in all he was the 
most degraded of mortals. He lived without labor and existed for naught save his 
ease and his pleasure. In physique he was unprepossessing; being possessed of much 
endurance and strength; his features were unattractive, his hair in texture like the 
mane of a horse, and his complexion as dark as the Ethiop's skin. His chief delight 
was the satisfying of his appetite and lust, while he lacked courage enough to be 
warlike and was devoid of that spirit of independence usually the principal character- 
istic of his race. The best portion of his life was passed in sleeping and dancing, 
while in the temperate California climate, the fertile valleys and hill-sides grew an 
abundance of edible seeds and wild fruits, which were garnered and by them held in 
great store. Such means of existence being so easily obtained is perhaps a reason 
for the wonderful disinclination of Indians to perform any kind of labor. Indeed, 
what need was there that they should toil, when a beneficent Nature had, with a gen- 
erosity that knew no stint, placed within their grasp an unlimited supply of health- 
giving food! 

As we have said, the aboriginal Californian's life was a roving one, for they had no 
fixed habitation, but roamed about from place to place, fishing, hunting, and gathering 

66 History of Alameda County, California. 

supplies. In every stream were fish, and on every mountain-side and valley, game; 
acorns and pine-nuts, roots and wild oats, were included in the category of their 
edibles, while, it is said, their tastes precluded them not from feasting upon vermin. 
Their dialects were as various as those of China to-day, and the natives of San Diego 
could not understand those of Los Angeles or Monterey. 

These Indians had as dwellings the meanest of huts, built of willows and thatched 
with tules, or rushes. They were fashioned by taking a few poles and placing them 
in a circle, which were woven together to a conical point, giving them, when com- 
pleted, the appearance of inverted baskets. They were small and easily warmed in 
winter, and, when swarming with vermin, could readily be reduced to ashes and 
others built in their stead. Their cabins or " wickeups " were usually constructed 
on the banks of streams, or in the dells of mountains, but always near some running 
water-course. There, without a vestige of covering, they slept like " sardines in a tin," 
those on the outer edge quarreling, as in more civilized circles, for an inside place. 
On rising from their litters, be it summer or winter, the first performance would 
be to plunge into the river; after which they would dance and play around a huge 
fire, when, with a healthy appetite, they would relish a hearty meal. This was 
their custom in the cold mountain regions as well as in the more temperate valleys. 
The skins of beasts made -them a covering comfortable enough, but the males gen- 
erally wore absolutely nothing upion their persons save an arrow passed through the 
hair — something like the mode of hair ornament in vogue with many fashionable belles. 
One of these warriors, thus clad, on one occasion paid General Vallejo a visit at Sonoma. 
As the day was cold the General asked his guest if he was not cold. " No," was 
the answer, " is your face cold ?" " Not at all," replied the veteran Commandante, 
" I never wear anything on my face." " Then," rejoined the Indian, triumphantly 
pointing to his body, " I am all face !" The toilet of the women, as in other parts 
of the world, was more pretentious. It consisted of a scanty apron of fancy skins or 
feathers extending to the knees. Those of them who were unmarried wore, in 
addition, a bracelet around the arm near the shoulder, or a band around the ankle, 
which was generally made of bone or fancy wood. Polygamy was a recognized insti- 
tution. Chiefs generally possessed eleven wives, sub-chiefs nine, and ordinary indi- 
viduals two or more, according to their wealth or property. Indian like they would 
fight among themselves, and bloody fights these often were. Their weapons were 
bows and arrows, clubs and spears, with which they were very adroit. Their head- 
dress was a helmet composed of skins. They were remarkable athletes and unex- 
celled as swimmers and runners. In times of peace they kept up their martial spirit, 
little though it was, by sham fights and tournaments, their women participating in 
their battles, not as actual belligerents, but as a sanitary brigade they followed their 
warriors and supplied them with provisions and attended them when wounded, carry- 
ing their pappooses on their backs at the same time. 

Four times a year each tribe united in a great dance, having some religious 
purpose and signification. One of these was held in Napa County in 1841, about 
the time of the vernal equinox, and was terminated by a strange, inexplicable 
pantomime, accompanied with wild gestures and screams, the object of which the 
Indians said was " to scare the devil away from the rancherias." An old gentle- 

Early History and Settlement. 


man who witnessed the performance says he has no doubt that their object must 
have been attained, if the devil had the sHghtest ear for music. Superstition wrapped 
these savages like a cloud, from which they never emerged. The phenomena of 
nature on every hand, indeed, taught them that there was some unseen cause for all 
things — some power which they could neither comprehend nor resist. The volcano 
and the earthquake taught them this, and many accounts of these in past ages are 
preserved in their traditions, but farther than this their minds could not penetrate. 

It will readily be acknowledged that to catch, subdue, and educate a race like 
this was a task of no mean difficulty, while to perfect it, even reniotely, demanded 
all the elements of success. It was necessary to commingle both force and persua- 
sion. The former was represented by the soldiers at the presidio, and the latter 
by the fathers at the mission. To keep them together was a task which required 
the most perfect skill, in short, nothing but the attractiveness of new objects and 
strange ways, with the pleasant accessories of good diet and kind conduct, could 
have ever kept these roaming spirits, even for a time, from straying to their original 

What was the state of the missions in the early part of the present century ? 
We shall see. In the year 1767 the property possessed by the Jesuits, then known 
as the Pious Fund, was taken charge of by the Government, and used for the benefit 
of the missions. At that time this possession yielded an annual revehue of fifty 
thousand dollars, twenty-four thousand of which were expended in the stipends of the 
Franciscan and Dominican Missionaries, and the balance for the maintenance of the 
missions generally. Father Gleeson says : " The first inroad made on these pious 
donations was about the year i8o5, when to relieve the natural wants of the parent 
country, caused by the wars of 1801 and 1804, between Portugal in the one instance 
and Great Britain in the other, His Majesty's fiscal at Mexico scrupled not to confis- 
cate and remit to the authorities in Spain, as much as two hundred thousand dollars 
of the Pious Fund." By this means the missions were deprived of most substantial 
aid, and the fathers left upon their own resources; add to these difficulties the 
unsettled state of the country between the years 181 1 and 1831, and still their work of 
civilization was never stayed. 

To demonstrate this we reproduce the following tabular statement, which will at 
a glance show the state of the missions of Upper California from 1802 to 1822: — 

Table showing the Number of Indians Baptized, Married, Died, and Existing at the Different 
Missions of Upper California, between the Years 1802 to 1822. 

Name of Mission. 

San Diego 

San Luis Rey 

San Juan Capistrano. , 

Santa Catarina 

San Fernando 

Santa Barbara. ...... 

Furissima Concepcion 
San Luis Obispo 





















Name of Mission. 

San Miguel 

San Antonio de Padua. . 
Our Lady of Soledad. . . . 

San Carlos 

San Juan, Bautista 

Santa Cruz 

Santa Clara 

San Jos6 

San Francisco . . . , 

San Rafael 




































■ 834 









68 History of Alameda County, California. 

It will thus be observed by the foregoing, that out of the seventy-four thousand, 
six hundred and twenty-one converts received into the missions the large number of 
forty-seven thousand, nine hundred and twenty-five had succumbed to disease. Of 
what nature was this plague it is hard to establish; the missionaries themselves could 
assign no cause. Syphilis, measels, and small-pox carried off numbers, and these 
diseases were generated, in all probability, by a sudden change in their lives from a 
free, wandering existence, to a state of settled quietude. 

Father Gleeson, in his valuable work says: "In 1813, when the contest for 
national independence was being waged on Mexican territory, the cortes of Spain 
resolved upon dispensing with the services of th^ fathers, by placing the missions in 
the hands of the secular clergy. The professed object of this secularization scheme 
was, indeed, the welfare of the Indians and colonists; but how little this accorded 
with the real intentions of the Government, is seen from the seventh section of the 
decree passed by the cortes, wherein it is stated that one-half of the land was to be 
hypothecated for the payment of the national debt. The decree ordering this com- 
mences as follows: 'The cortes general and extraordinary, considering that the 
reduction of common land to private property is one of the measures most imperi- 
ously demanded for the welfare of the pueblos, and the improvement of agriculture 
and industry, and wishing at the same time to derive from , this class of land aid to 
relieve the public necessities, a reward to the worthy defenders of the country and relief 
to the citizens not proprietors, decree, etc., without prejudice to the foregoing provis- 
ions, one-half of the vacant land and lands belonging to the royal patrimony of the 
monarchy, except the suburbs of the pueblos, is hereby reserved, to be in whole or in 
part, as it may be deemed necessary, hypothecated for the payment of the national 
debt,' etc. 

" This decree of the Government was not carried out at the time, yet it had its 
effect upon the state and well-being of the missions in general. It could not be 
expected that with such a resolution under their eyes, the fathers would be as zeal- 
ous in developing the natural resources of the country as before, seeing that the 
result of their labors was at any moment liable to be seized on by the Government, 
and handed over to strangers. The insecurity thus created naturally acted upon the 
converts in turn, for when it became apparent that the authority of the missionaries 
was more nominal than real, a spirit of opposition and independence on the part of 
some of the people was the natural result. Even before this determination had been 
come to on the part of the Government, there were not wanting evidences of an evil 
disposition on the part of the people; for as early as 1803 one of the missions had 
become the scene of a revolt; and earlier still, as we learn from an unpublished corre- 
spondence of the fathers, it was not unusual for some of the converts to abandon the 
missions and return to their former wandering life. It was customary on those occa- 
sions to pursue the deserters, and compel them to return. 

"Meantime, the internal state of the missions was becoming more and more 
complex and disordered. The desertions were more frequent and numerous, the hos- 
tility of the unconverted more daring, and the general disposition of the people 
inclined to revolt. American traders and freebooters had entered the country, spread 
themselves all over the province and sowed the seeds of discord and revolt among the 

Early History and Settlement. 69 

inhabitants. Many of the more reckless and evil-minded , readily listened to their 
suggestions, adopted their counsels, and broke out into open hostilities. Their hostile 
attack was first directed against the Mission of Santa Cruz, which they captured and 
plundered, when they directed their course to Monterey, and, in common with their 
American friends, attacked and plundered that place. From these and other like 
occurrences, it was clear that the condition of the missions was one of the greatest 
peril. The spirit of discord had spread among the people, hostility to the authority 
of the fathers had become common, while desertion from the villages was of fre- 
quent and almost constant occurrence. To remedy this unpleasant state of affairs, 
the military then in the country was entirely inadequate, and so matters continued, 
with little or no difference, till 1824, when, by the action of the Mexican Government, 
the missions began rapidly to decline. 

" Two years after Mexico had been formed into a Republic, the Government 
authorities began to interfere with the rights of the fathers and the existing state of 
affairs. In 1826 instructions were forwarded by the Federal Government to the 
authorities of California for the liberation of the Indians. This was followed, a few 
years later, by another act of the Legislature, ordering the whole of the missions to 
be secularized and the Religious to withdraw. The ostensible object assigned by the 
authors of the measure was the execution of the original plan formed by Government. 
The missions, it was alleged, were never intended to be permanent establishments; 
they were to give way, in the course of some years, to the regular ecclesiastical sys- 
tem, when the people would be formed into parishes, attended by a secular clergy." 

" Beneath these specious pretexts," says Dwindle, in his Colonial History, 
" was undoubtedly a perfect understanding between the Government at Mexico 
and the leading men in California, and in such, a condition of things the Supreme 
Government might absorb the Pious Fund, under the pretense that it was no 
longer necessary for missionary purposes, and thus had. reverted to the State as 
a quasi escheat, while the co-actors in California should appropriate the local wealth 
of the missions, by the rapid and sure process of administering the temporali- 
ties." And again: " These laws (the secularization laws), whose ostensible purpose was 
to convert the missionary establishments into Indian pueblos, their churches into 
parish churches, and to elevate the Christianized Indians to the rank of citizens, were, 
after all, executed in such a manner that the so-called secularization of the missions 
resulted only in their plunder and complete ruin, and in the demoralization and dis- 
persion of the Christianized Indians." 

Immediately on the receipt of the decree, the then acting Governor of Califor- 
nia, Don Josd Figueroa, commenced the carrying out of its provisions, to which end 
he prepared certain provisional rules, and in accordance therewith the alteration in the 
missionary system was begun, to be immediately followed by the absolute ruin of both 
missions and country. Within a very few years the exertions of the fathers were 
entirely destroyed; the lands, which hitherto had teemed with abundance, were 
handed over to the Indians, to be by them neglected and permitted to return to their 
primitive wildness, and the thousands of cattle were divided among the people and 
the administrators for the personal benefit of either. 

Let us now briefly follow Father Gleeson in his contrast of the state of the peo- 

70 History of Alameda County, California. 

pie before and after secularization. He says: " It has been stated already that in 
1822 the entire number of Indians then inhabiting the different missions amounted 
to twenty thousand and upwards. To these others were being constantly added> 
even during those years of political strife which immediately preceded the independ- 
ence of Mexico, until, in 1836, the number amounted to thirty thousand and more. 
Provided with all the necessary comforts of life, instructed in everything requisite for 
their state in society, and devoutly trained in the duties and requirements of religion, 
these thirty thousand Californian converts led a peaceful, happy, contented life, 
strangers to those cares, troubles and anxieties common to higher and more civilized 
conditions of life. At the same time that their religious condition was one of thank- 
fulness and grateful satisfaction to the fathers, their worldly position was one of 
unrivaled abundance and prosperity. Divided between the different missions from 
St. Lucas to San Francisco, close upon one million of live-stock belonged to the peo- 
ple. Of these four hundred thousand were horned cattle, sixty thousand horses, and 
more than three hundred thousand sheep, goats, and swine. The united annual 
return of the cereals, consisting of wheat, maize, beans, and the like, was upwards of 
one hundred and twenty thousand bushels; while, at the same time, throughout the 
different missions, the preparation and manufacture of soap, leather, wine, brandy, 
hides, wool, oil, cotton, hemp, linen, tobacco, salt, and soda, were largely and exten- 
sively cultivated. And to such perfection were these articles brought, that some of 
them were eagerly sought for and purchased in the principal cities in Europe. 

" The material prosperity of the country was further increased by an annual reve- 
nue of about one million of dollars, the net proceeds of the hide and tallow of one 
hundred thousand oxen slaughtered annually at the different missions. Another 
hundred thousand were slaughtered by the settlers for their own private advantage. 
The revenues on the articles of which there are no specific returns, are also supposed 
to have averaged another million dollars, which, when added to the foregoing, makes 
the annual revenue of the California Catholic Missions, at the time of their supremacy! 
between two and three million dollars. Independent of these, there were the rich and 
extensive gardens and orchards attached to the missions, exquisitely ornamented and 
enriched, in many instances, with a great variety of European and tropical fruit-trees, 
plums, bananas, oranges, olives, and iigs, added to which were the numerous and fertile 
vineyards, rivaling in the quantity and quality of the grape those of the old countries 
of Europe, and all used for the comfort and maintenance of the natives. In a word, 
the happy results, both spiritual and temporal, produced in Upper California by the 
spiritual children of St. Francis, during the sixty years of their missionary career, 
were such as have rarely been equaled and never surpassed in modern times. In a 
country naturally salubrious, and, it must be admitted, fertile beyond many parts of the 
world, yet presenting at the outset numerous obstacles to the labors of the mission- 
ary, the fathers succeeded in establishing, at regular distances along the coast, as many 
as one-and-twenty missionary establishments. Into these holy retreats their zeal and 
ability enabled them to gather the whole of the indigenous race, with the exception of 
a few wandering tribes, who, it is only reasonable to suppose, would also have followed 
the example of their brethren, had not the labors of the fathei-s been dispensed with 
by the civil authorities. There, in those peaceful, happy abodes, abounding in more 

Early History and Settlement. 71 

than the ordinary enjoyment of things spiritual and temporal, thirty thousand faithful, 
simple-hearted Indians passed their days in the practice of virtue and the improvement 
of their country; from a wandering, savage, uncultivated race, unconscious as well 
of the God who created them as the end for which they were made, they became, after 
the advent of the fathers, a civilized, domestic. Christian people, whose morals were 
as pure as their minds were simple. Daily attendance at the holy sacrifice of the- 
mass, morning and night prayer, confession and communion at stated times — the true 
worship, in a word, of the Deity, succeeded the listless, aimless life, the rude pagan 
games, and the illicit amours. The plains and valleys, which for centuries lay uncul- 
' tivated and unproductive, now teemed under an abundance of every species of corn; 
the hills and plains were covered with stock; the fig tree, the olive, and the vine yielded 
their rich abundance, while lying in the harbors, waiting to carry to foreign markets 
the rich products of the country, might be seen numerous vessels from different parts 
of the world. Such was the happy and prosperous condition of the country under the 
missionary rule; and with this the reader is requested to contrast the condition of the 
people after the removal of the Religious, and the transfer of power to the secular 

" In 1833 the c^ecree for the liberation of the Indians was passed by the Mexican 
Congress, and put in force in the following year. The dispersion and demoralization , 
of the people was the immediate result. Within eight years after the execution of 
the decree, the number of Christians diminished from thirty thousand six hundred 
and fifty to four thousand four hundred and fifty! Some of the missions, which in 
1834 had as many as one. thousand five hundred souls, numbered only a few hundred 
in 1842. The two missions of San Rafael and San Francisco Solano (Sonoma) 
decreased respectively within this period from one thousand two hupdred and fifty, and 
one thousand three hundred, to twenty and seventy ! A like diminution was observed 
in the cattle and general products of the country. Of the eight hundred and eight 
thousand head of live-stock belonging to the missions at the date above mentioned, 
only sixty-three thousand and twenty remained in 1842. The diminution in the 
<;ereals was equally striking; it fell from seventy to four thousand hectolitres. * * * 
By descending to particular instances this (the advantage of the religious over the 
■civil administration) will become even more manifest still. At one period during the 
supremacy of the fathers, the principal mission of the country (San Diego) produced 
as much as six thousand fanegas of wheat, and an equal quantity of maize, but in 1 842 
the return for this mission was only eighteen hundred fanegas in all." 

But why prolong these instances which are adduced by the learned and reverend 
father? Better will it be to let the reader judge for himself Figures are incontro- 
vertible facts; let them speak. We present on the following page a carefully pre- 
pared table showing the number of Indians, horned cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and 
swine, together with the number of bushels of grain grown by the twenty-one Mis- 
-sions of Upper California between the years 1884 and 1842. These figures are 
<;ollected from the records preserved by the Mission Fathers, and may be relied upon 
as approximately correct, and it will be universally admitted that this showing 
displays a degree of industry and perseverance on the part of the missionaries far in 
-advance of their ruthless and indolent successors. 


History of Alameda County, California. 

Comparative Statement Showing the Number of Indians, Horned Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Goats, 
AND Swine, and Bushels of Grain Possessed and Grown by the Twenty-one Missions of 
Upper California between the Years 1834 and 1842. 


San Diego 

San Louis Rey 

San Juan Capistrano 

San Gabriel 

San Fernando 

San Buenaventura 

Santa Barbara 

Santa Cruz 

La Purissima Concepcion . . . . 

San Luis Obispo 

San Miguel 

San Antonio 

Nostra Senora de la Soledad. 

Mission del Carmel 

San Juan Bautista 

Santa Cruz 

Santa Clara 

San Jos6 

Dolores de San Francisco . . . . 

San Rafael 

San Francisco Solano 




June 16, 
June 13, 
Nov. I, 
Sept. 8, 
Sept. 8, 
Mch. 31, 
Dec. 4, 
Sept. 17, 
Dec. 8, 
Sept. I, 

July 25, 

July 14, 
Oct. 9, 
June 3, 
June 24. 
Aug, 28, 
Jan. 18, 
June II, 
Oct. 9, 
Pec. 18, 
Aug. 25, 







Number of 

1834. 1842, 































Horned Cattle. 

1834. 1842. 







































1834. 1842 






30,650 4,450 396,400 29,020 32,600 3,820 321,500 31,600 123,000 



Sheep, Goats 

and Swine. 

1834. 1842. 





































Being twenty-one missions in all distributed over a distance of two hundred and 
eighty-nine leagues. 

That the fathers who had charge of the missions in Upper California paid strict 
attention to the duty of Christianizing the native race, is evidenced by documents still 
in existence. The following report and order dated Monterey, May 6, 1 804, addressed 
to the Commissioner of the village of Branciforte, though belonging to the chronicles 
of another county, is here produced to exemplify the stringency with which religious 
observances were carried out: — 

" In accordance with the rules made by the Governor, requiring a monthly report 
from the Commissioner of Branciforte, showing who of the colonists and residents do or 
po not comply with their religious duties, the official report for the month of April, 
1 804, certified by the reverend minister, has reached its destination. The Indian, Tori- 
bio, at some time past was derelict, but now has been brought to a proper sense of the 
requirements of a Christian era, and is absolved from further stricture upon his failures, 
and the reverend fathers are to be so notified. The rebellious Ignacio Acedo, for 
failure to comport himself outwardly as a devotee, is to be arrested and turned over 
to the church authorities, where flagellation and confinement in the stocks will cause 
him to pay a proper respect, and to be obedient to the precepts and commandments 
of the church, of which he has been a contumacious member. The Governor is to be 
informed of the punishment to_ which Acedo will be sentenced; and requires the infor- 
mation in writing, that it may be used by him, if he requires it, as an example of what 
those under his command may expect should they fail in the observance of the require- 
ments of the church." 

Early History and Settlement. 73 

Then follows- Government Order No. 29, signed by Jose M. Estudillo, Secretary 
of Jos6 J. de Arrillaga, Military Commander of Alta California, and which is to this 
effect: — 

" I am in receipt of the list, certified by the reverend minister of the mission of 
Santa Cruz, of those who have observed the rules of religion, in having confessed and 
received the sacrament. The Indian, Toribio, has complied herewith, having done 
both, and I will send word to such effect to the fathers. You will cause Ignacio 
Acedo to be arrested, and notify the reverend fathers when you have done so, that 
they may do with him as they think proper, and inform me what the pastors of the 
church do to its members who fail to conform to the precepts of the holy religion, 
and have the reverend fathers put it in writing. May God protect you many years.' 

In its early day the whole military force in Upper California did not number 
more than from two to three hundred men, divided between the four presidios of San 
Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco, while there were but two towns 
or pueblos, Los Angeles, and San Jos^, the latter of which was established, November 
29, 1777- Another was subsequently started in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, 
which was named Branciforte, after a Spanish Viceroy. It may be conjectured that 
the garrisons were not maintained in a very effective condition. Such a supposition 
would be correct, for everywhere betokened the disuse of arms, and the long absence 
of an enemy. The cannon of the presidio at San Francisco were grey with mould, 
and women and children were to be seen snugly located within the military linel 
The soldiers of the San Francisco district were divided into three cantonments — one 
at the presidio, one at Santa Clara Mission, and one at Mission San Josd We now 
append a list of the soldiers connected with the presidio in the year 1790, which has 
been copied from the Spanish archives in San Francisco. Here will be found the 
names, position, nativity, color, race, age, etc., of the soldiers, as well as those of their 
wives, when married: — 

Don Josef Arguello, Commandante, age 39. 

Don Ramon Laro de la Neda, Alferez de Campo, age 34. 

Pedro Amador, Sergeant. Spaniard from Guadalaxara, age 5 1 ; wife, Ramona 
Noriega, Spanish, aged 30; seven children. 

Nicolas Galindo, mestizo, Durango, 42. 

Majio Chavoya, City of Mexico, 34; wife, a Bernal. 

Miguel Pacheco, 36; wife, a Sanchez. 

Luis Maria Peralta, Spaniard, Sonora, 32; wife, Maria Loretta Alviso, 19. 

Justa Altamarino, mulatto, Sonora, 45. 

Ygnacio Limaxes,. Sonora, 49; wife, Maria Gertruda Rivas, Spaniard, 38. 

Ygnacio Soto, 41; wife,, Barbara Espinoza. 

Juan Bernal, mestizo, Sonora, 53; wife, Maxima I de-Soto. 

Jph. Maria Martinez, Sonora, 35; wife, Maria Garcia, mulatto, 18. 

Salvador Iguera, L. C, 38; wife, Alexa Marinda, Sonora, 38. 

Nicolas Berryessa, mestizo, 25; wife, Maria Gertrudis Peralta; 24. 

Pedro Peralta, Sonora, 26; wife, Maria Carmen Grisalva, 19. 

Ygnacio Pacheco, Sonora, 30; wife, Maria Dolores Cantua, mestizo, age 16. 

Francisco Bernal, Sinaloa, 27; wife, Maria Petrona, Indian, 29. 

74 History of Alameda County, California. 

Bartolo Pacheco, Sonora, 25; wife, Maria Francisco Soto, 18. 

Apolinario Bernal, Sonora, 25. 

Joaquin Bernal, Sonora, 28; wife, Josefa Sanchez, 21. 

Josef Aceva, Durango, 26. 

Manuel Boranda, Guadalaxara, 40; wife, Gertrudis Higuera, 13. 

Francisco Valencia, Sonora, 22; wife, Maria Victoria Higuera, 15. 

Josef Antonio Sanchez, Guadalaxara, 39; wife, Maria Dolora Moxales, 34. 

Josef Ortez, Guadalaxara, 23. 

Josef Aguil, Guadalaxara, 22; wife, Conellaria Remixa, 14. 

Alexandro Avisto, Durango, 23. 

Juan Josef Higuera, Sonora, 20. 

Francisco Flores, Guadalaxara, 20. 

Josef Maria Castilla, Guadalaxara, 19. 

Ygnacio Higuera, Sonora; wife, Maria Micaelo Borjorques, 28. 

Ramon Linare, Sonora, 19. 

Josef Miguel, Saens, Sonora, 18. 

Carto Serviente, San Diego, Indian, 60. 

Augustin Xirviento, L. C, 20. 

Nicolas Presidairo, Indian, 40. 

Gabriel Peralta, invalid, Sonora. 

Manuel Vutron, invalid, Indian. 

Ramon Borjorques, invalid, 98. 

Francisco Romero, invalid, 52. 

A recapitulation shows that the inmates of the presidio consisted altogether of 
one hundred and forty-four persons, including, men, women, and children, soldiers, 
and civilians. There were thirty-eight soldiers, and three laborers, of these one 
was an European other than Spanish, seventy-eight Spaniards, five Indians, two 
mulattos, and forty-four of other castes. 

An inventory of the rich men of the presidio, bearing date 1 793, was discovered 
some years since, showing that Pedro Amador was the proprietor of thirteen head of 
stock and fifty-two sheep; Nicolas Galindo, ten head of stock; Luis Peralta, two head 
of stock; Manuel Boranda, three head of stock; Juan. Bernal, twenty-three head of 
stock and two hundred and forty-six sheep; Salvador Youere, three head of stock; 
Aleso Miranda, fifteen head of stock; Pedro Peralta, two head of stock; Francisco 
Bernal, sixteen head of stock; Bartol Pacheco, seven head of stock; Joaquin Bernal, 
eight head of stock; Francisco Valencia, two head of stock; Berancia Galindo, six 
head of stock; Hermenes S^l (who appears to have been a secretary, or something 
besides a soldier), five head of stock and three mares. Computing these, we find the 
total amount of stock owned by these men was one hundred and fifteen cattle, two 
hundred and ninety-eight sheep, and seventeen mares — the parent stem from which 
sprung the hundreds of thousands of head of stock which afterwards roamed over the 
Californian mountains and valleys. 

We have thus far dwelt chiefly upon the establishment of the missions; let us 
now briefly take into consideration the attempt made by another European nation to 
get a foothold on the coast of California. 

Early History and Settlement. 75 

The Russians, to whom then belonged all that territory now known as Alaska, 
had found their country of almost perpetual cold, without facilities for the cultivation 
of those fruits and cereals which go a great way towards maintaining life; therefore 
ships were dispatched along the coast in quest of a spot where a station might be 
established, and those wants supplied. In a voyage of this nature, the port of Bodega, 
in Sonoma County, was visited in January, 1811, by Alexander Koskoff, who took 
possession of the place on the fragile pleas that he had been refused a supply of water 
at Yerba Buena (San Francisco), and that he had obtained, by right of purchase from 
the Indians, the land lying between Point Reyes and Point Arena (Mendocino 
County), and for a distance of three leagues inland. Here he remained for a while, 
and to Bodega gave the name of Romanzoff, calling the stream now known as Russian 
River, Slavianka. 

The king of Spain, it should be remembered, claimed all territory north to Fuca 
Straits; therefore, on Governor Arguello receiving the intelligence of the Russian 
occupation of Bodega, he reported the circumstance to the Viceroy, Revilla Gigedo, 
who returned dispatches ordering the Muscovite intruder to depart. The only answer 
received to this communication was a verbal message, saying that the orders of the 
Viceroy of Spain had been received and transmitted to St. Petersburg for the action 
of the Czar. Here, however, the matter did not rest. There arrived in the harbor of 
San Francisco, in 1816, in the Russian brig Rurick, a scientific expedition under the 
command of Otto von Kotzebue. In accordance with instructions received from the 
Spanish authorities. Governor Sola proceeded to San Francisco, visited Kotzebue, 
and, as directed by his Government, offered aid in furtherance of the endeavors to 
advance scientific research on the coast. At the same time he complained of Koskoff; 
informed him of the action taken on either side, and laid particular emphasis on the 
fact that the Russians had been occupiers of Spanish territory for five years. Upon 
this complaint Don Gervasio Arguello was dispatched to BiDdega as the bearer of a 
message from Kotzebue to Koskoff, requiring his presence in San Francisco. This 
messenger was the first to bring a definite report of the Russian settlement there, 
which then consisted of twenty-five Russians and eighty Kodiac Indians. On 
October 28th, a conference was held on board the Rurick, in the harbor of San Fran- 
cisco, between Arguello, Kotzebue and Koskoff; there being also present Jos^ Maria 
Estudillo, Luis Antonio Arguello, and a naturalist named Chamisso, who acted as 
interpreter. No new development was made at this interview, for Koskoff claimed 
that he was acting in strict conformity with instructions from the Governor of Sitka; 
therefore Kotzebue declined to take any action in the matter, contenting himself with 
the simple promise that the entire affair should be submitted to St. Petersburg to 
await the instructions of the Emperor of Russia. Thus the matter then rested. Com- 
munications subsequently made produced a like un.satisfactory result, and the Russians 
were permitted to remain for a lengthened period possessors of the land they had so 
arbitrarily appropriated. 

In Bodega, the Russians, however, went to work with a will, whether they had a 
right to the soil or not. They proceeded into the country about six miles and there 
established a settlement, houses bein^ built, fields fenced, and agricultural pursuits 
vigorously engaged in. As sopn as the first crop had matured and was ready for 

76 History of Alameda County, California. 

shipment, it became necessary for them to have a warehouse at the bay where their 
vessels could be loaded, which was done, it being used for the storage of grain or furs 
as necessity called for. It was not long before they found there was a strong oppo- 
sition to them, and that it would be necessary to build a fort for their protection if 
they would keep possession of their newly acquired domain. Open warfare was 
threatened, and the Russians had reason to believe that the threats would be carried 
out. Besides the Spaniards, there was another enemy to word against — the Indians 
— over whom the former, through the missions, had absolute control, and the Russians 
apprehended that this power would be used against them. Several expeditions were 
organized by the Spanish to march against the Russians, and while they all came to 
naught, yet they served to cause them to seek for some place of refuge in case of 
attack. This they did not care to look for at any point nearer the Bay of San Fran- 
cisco, for there they would be brought in closer proximity to the enemy, hence they 
went in an opposite direction. Doubtless the Muscovite would have been glad tO' 
have adopted a laissez faire policy towards the Spanish, and would have been well 
satisfied to have left them alone if they would only have retaliated in like manner; 
fearing, however, to trust the Spaniards, they proceeded to search for such a locatioa 
as would afford them natural protection from their enemies. 

In passing up the coast to the northward, they came to Fort Ross, where they found 
everything they desired. Vast meadows extended to the eastward affording pasture 
to flocks without number. 

" This is the forest primeval; the murmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks and in accents disconsolate, answers the wail of the forest. " 

There was a beautiful little cove in which vessels might lie in safety from the fury- 
of northern storms; near at hand was an ample stretch of beach on which their rude, 
yet staunch, argosies could be constructed and easily launched upon the mighty deep; 
no more propitious place could have been found for the establishment of the Rus- 
sian headquarters. The location once fixed upon they set to work to prepare their 
new homes. A site was chosen for the stockade near the ocean's shore, in such a. 
position as to command all ships lying in the little cove and prevent any hostile 
craft from effecting a landing. The ground inclosed in this stronghold was a par- 
allelogram two hundred and eighty feet wide, three hundred and twelve feet long,, 
and containing two acres, its corners being placed very nearly upon the cardinal 
points of the compass. At the north and south angles there was constructed an 
octagonal bastion, both built exactly alike, twenty-four feet in diameter, two stories 
high, and each mounted with six pieces of artillery. The walls were formed of 
hewed logs, mortised together at the corners and of about eight inches in thick- 
ness, while the roof was conical in shape, with a small flag-staff at the apex. The 
stockade inclined towards these towers in such a way that one-half of them was 
within and the remaining portion without the inclosure, while the entrance to either 
was through small doors from the interior, and the embrasures overlooking both the 
inside and outside being thus arranged in order to protect those within from an out- 

Early History and Settlement. 77 

side enemy, as well as to have all in the interior in range of the guns in case of an 
emute. It is interesting to note the manner in which the stockade itself was con- 
structed. A trench was excavated two feet in depth and at every ten feet along 
the bottom a^ hole was dug one foot deep in which six by ten-inch posts were 
inserted, between which, and firmly empierced into them, was a strong girder fastened 
with a wooden pin. Slabs of varying width, but all about six inches in thickness, 
were then placed in an unright position between the first posts and resting on the 
girder in the ditch, being firmly fastened to them, while at a distance of twelve feet 
from the lower girder there was run another one, which, too, was fastened into the 
posts and clinched with wooden pins. These girders rested on the top of the slabs 
mentioned as being placed between the posts. The slabs were slotted at the tops, 
into which a piece of timber was passed, then huge wooden pins were thrust down 
through the girders and the piece in the slots and well into th§ body of the slabs. 
The main posts extended about three feet higher, and near the top a lighter girder 
was run along, and between the two last mentioned there was a row of light slabs 
two inches thick and four inches wide, pointed at the top like pickets. It may well 
be imagined that when the trench was filled up with tamped rock and dirt that this 
fortification was almost invulnerable, when we remember the implements of war likely 
to be brought against it in those days of rude weapons. All around the stockade 
there were embrasures suitable for the use of muskets or carronades, of which latter, 
it is said, there were several in the fortress. 

On the northern side of the eastern angle there was erected a chapel, which was 
used exclusively by the ofificers of the garrison. It was twenty-five by thirty-one feet 
in dimensions and strongly built, the outer wall forming a part of the stockade, the 
round port-holes being peculiar looking openings in a house of worship. The entrance 
was on the inside of the fort, and consisted of a rude, heavy wooden door held upon 
wooden hinges. There was a vestibule about ten by twenty-five feet in size, thus 
leaving the auditorium twenty-one by twenty-five feet, from which a narrow stairway 
led to a low loft, while the building was crowned with two domes, one of which was 
round and the other pentagonal in shape, in which, it is related, there had been hung 
a chime of bells. The roof was made of long planks, either sawed or rove from 
redwood, as was also the sides of the chapel in the fort. A considerable degree of 
carpenter's skill was displayed in the construction of the building, for a faint attempt 
at getting out mouldings for the inner door and window casings was made, a bead 
being worked around the outer edge of the casing and mitered at the corners. 

On the west side of the northern angle there was a two-storied building, twenty- 
eight by eighty feet in dimensions, which was roughly constructed and doubtless used 
as the barracks for the men of the garrison. On the northern side of the western 
angle there was a one-story building, twenty-nine by fifty feet, constructed in a better 
style of workmanship and evidently used as officers' quarters. On the southern side 
of the western angle was a one-story building, twenty-five by seventy-five feet, which 
was presumably used for a work-house, as various branches of industry were prose- 
cuted within its walls; and on the eastern side of the southern angle there was a row 
of low shed buildings, used, it is thought, for the stabling of stock and storing of 
feed. The framework of all the buildings was made of very large and heavy timbers, 

78 History of Alameda County, California. 

many of them being twelve inches square. The rafters were all great, ponderous 
round pine logs, a considerable number of them being six inches in diameter. The 
above includes the stockade and all its interior buildings. 

We will now draw attention to the exterior buildings, for be it known that 
there was, at one time, a colony numbering two hundred and fifty souls at Fort Ross. 
In 1 84s there were the remains of a village of about twenty-five small dwelling-houses 
on the north side of the stockade, all of which were in keeping with those at Bodega. 
They were probably not over twelve by fourteen feet in size, and fashioned from 
rough slabs of redwood. These hardy Muscovites were so rugged and inured to the 
cold of the higher latitudes that they cared not for the few cracks that might admit 
the fresh, balmy air of the California winter mornings. Also, to the northward of, 
and near this village, situated on an eminence, was a wind-mill, which was the motor 
for driving a single run of burrs, and also for a stamping machine used for grinding 
tan-bark. The wind-mill produced all the flour used in that and the Bodega settle- 
ments, and probably a considerable amount was also sent with the annual shipment 
to Sitka. To the south of the stockade, and in a deep gulch at the debouchure of a 
small stream into the ocean, there stood a very large building, probably eighty by 
one hundred feet in size, the rear half of which was used as a tanning establish- 
ment. Here were six vats in all, constructed of heavy, rough redwood slabs, and 
each with a capacity of fifty barrels; there were also the usual appliances necessary 
for the conduct of a tannery, but these implements were rough and unwieldly in their 
make, still, with these, they were able to manufacture a good quality of leather in 
large quantities. The front half of the building, or that facing the ocean, was used 
as a workshop for shipwrights. Ways were constructed on a sand beach at this 
point, leading into deep water, and upon them were built a number of staunch vessels, 
and from here was launched the very first sea-going craft constructed in California. 
Still further to the south, and near the ocean shore, stood a building eighty by a hundred 
feet, which bore all the marks of having been used as a store-house; it was, however^ 
unfortunately blown down by a storm on July 16, 1878, and soon there will be nothing 
to mark its site. 

Tradition states that to the eastward of the fort, and across the gulch, there once 
stood a very large building, which was used as a church for the common people of 
the settlement, near which the cemetery was located. A French tourist once paid 
Fort Ross a visit, and, arriving after dark, asked permission to remain over night 
with the parties who at that time owned that portion of the Mexican grant on which 
the settlement was located. During the evening the conversation naturally drifted 
upon the old history of the place. The tourist displayed a familiarity with all the 
surroundings, which surprised his host and caused him to inquire if he had ever 
lived there with the Russians. He answered that he had not, but that he had a very 
warm friend in St. Petersburg who had passed thirty years of his life at Fort Ross as 
a priest in the Greek Church, and that he had made him a promise, upon his departure 
for California, about a year before, to pay a visit to the scenes of the holy labors of 
the priest, and it was in compliance with this promise that he was there at the time. 
Among the other things inquired about was the church close to the cemetery men- 
tioned above. All traces of this, building had long since disappeared and the settlers 

Early History and Settlement. 79 

were surprised to hear that it ever stood there. The tourist assured them that the priest 
had stated distinctly that such an edifice once occupied that site, and also that a num- 
ber of other buildings stood near it, which were used by the peasants as homes. 
Ernest Rufus, of Sonoma, who visited Fort Ross in 1845, has informed us that when 
the land lapsed into disuse after the Russians had left, wild oats grew very rank, often 
reaching the enormous height of ten feet, and the Indians being wont to set it on fire, 
during these conflagrations the fences and many of the smaller houses of the Rus- 
sians were consumed, while he well remembers there were a number of cabins near 
the cemetery, and that the blackened ruins of a very large building also remained, 
which the half-breed Russo- Indians told him had been used as a church. The ■ 
tourist mentioned above stated -that his friend, the priest, was greatly attached to 
the place, as had been all who had lived in the settlement. They found the climate 
genial, the soil productive, and the resources of the country great, and, all in all, it 
was a most desirable place to live in. 

The Russians had farmed very extensively here, having at least two thousand 
acres inclosed, besides a great deal that was not. Their fences, which were chiefly of 
that kind known as rail and post, as stated before, nearly all perished in the wild fires. 
Their agricultural processes were as crude as any of their other work. Their plow 
was very similar to the old Spanish implement, so common in this country at that 
time and still extant in Mexico, with this exception, the Muscovite instrument pos- 
sessed a mold-board. Oxen and cows were employed as draft animals, the old Span- 
ish yoke being adjusted to their horns instead of to their necks. We have no account 
of any attempt to construct either a cart or a wagon, but it is probable they had vehicles 
like unto those described as being in use among the Californians at that time, while 
it is supposed they used to a great extent sleds for transporting their produce, when 
cut, to the threshing floor, which was constructed differently from those then common 
in the country, and was simply composed of heavy puncheons elevated from the ground 
into the interstices between which the grain fell to the floor as it was released from 
the head. The threshing was done in this wise: A layer of grain, in the straw, of a 
foot or two in depth, was placed upon the floor, over which oxen hitched to a log — 
into which were inserted rows of wooden pegs — were then driven. As the log revolved 
these pegs acted well the part of a flail, the straw being expeditiously relieved of its 
burden of grain. It was, doubtless, no difficult task to winnow the grain after it was 
threshed as the wind blows a stiff blast at that point during all of the summer months. 

The Russians constructed a wharf at the northern side of the little cove and 
graded a road down the steep ocean shore to it, the line of which is still visible, 
for it passed much of its way through solid rock. This quay or jetty was made fast 
to the rocks on which it was built with long iron bolts, of which only a few that were 
driven into the hard surface now remain, while the wharf itself is gone, and mayhap 
its timbers drifted upon many a foreign shore. 

These old Muscovites, probably, produced the first lumber with a saw ever made 
north of the San Francisco Bay, for they had both a pit and whip-saw, the former of 
which can be seen to this day. Judging from the number of stumps still standing, 
and the extent of territory over which they extended their logging operations, they 
evidently consumed large quantities of lumber. The timber was only about one mile 

80 History of Alameda County, California. 

distant from the ship-yard and landing, while the stumps of trees cut by them are 
still standing, and beside them from one to six shoots have sprung up, many of which 
have now reached a size sufficient for lumber purposes. This growth has been remark- 
able and goes to show that if proper care were taken, each half century would see a new 
crop of redwoods, sufficiently large for all practical purposes, while ten decades would 
develop gigantic trees. 

As stated above, the ceinetery lay to the eastward of the fort, about one-fourth 
of a mile, and across a very deep gulch, it being near the church for the peasants. 
There were never more than fifty graves in it, though all traces are obliterated now of 
riot more than a dozen; most of those still remaining had some sort of a wooden struct- 
ure built over them. One manner of constructing these mausoleums was to make a 
series of rectangular frames of square timbers, about six inches in diameter, each frame a 
certain degree smaller than the one below it, which were placed one above another, until 
an apex was reached, the whole being surmounted with a cross. Another method was 
to erect a rectangular frame of heavy planking about one foot high and cover the top 
with two heavy planks placed so as to be roof-shaped; others had simply a rude cross; 
others, a on which some mechanical skill was displayed, while one has a large 
round post standing high above the adjacent crosses. The occupants of this silent 
city are presumably buried with their heads toward the west for the graves lie due 
east and west. From their size, several of them must hold the ashes of children, 
but no inscription remains to tell their story. Quietly are they sleeping in their far- 
away tombs where the eyes of those who knew and loved them in their earthly life 
can never rest again upon their little graves, and while the eternal roar of the mighty 
Pacific makes music in the midnight watches do they await the great day that shall 
restore them to their long-lost friends. Sleep on, brave hearts, and peaceful be thy 

In an easterly direction, and about one mile distant from the fort, there was an 
inclosure containing about five acres, surrounded by a fence about eight feet high, 
made of redwood slabs about two inches in thickness, these being driven into the 
ground, while the tops were nailed firmly to girders extending from post to post, 
set about ten feet apart. Within the inclosure there was an orchard consisting of 
apple, prune, and cherry trees. Of these, about fifty of the first and nine of the last- 
named, moss-grown and gray with age, still remain, while it is said that all the old 
stock of German prunes in California came from seed produced there. 

The Russians had a small settlement at a place now known as Russian Gulch 
where they evidently grew wheat, for the remains of a warehouse are still to be seen. 

There were several commanders who had charge of the Russian interests on the 
Pacific Coast, but the names of all save the first, Alexander Koskoff, and the last, 
Rotscheff, have been lost to tradition. Gen. William T. Sherman relates a pleas- 
ing incident in his " Memoirs " which is called to mind by the mention of the name of 
Rotscheff While lying at anchor in a Mediterranean port, the vessel on which Sher- 
man was traveling was visited by the officers of a Russian naval vessel. During 
the exchange of courtesies and in the course of conversation, one of the Russian 
officers took occasion to remark that he was an American by birth, having been born 
in the Russian Colony in California, and that he was the son of one of the colonial 

Early History and Settlement. 81 

rulers. He was doubtless the son of Rotscheff and his beautiful spouse, the Princess 
de Gargarin, in whose honor Mount St. Helena was named. The beauty of this lady 
excited so ardent a passion in the breast of Solano, chief of the Indian tribe of that 
name, that he formed a plan to capture, by force or strategy, the object of his strange 
love, and he might have succeeded had his design not been frustrated by General 

We have thus set forth all the facts concerning the Russian occupancy, and their 
habits, manners, buildings, occupations, etc.; we will now trace the causes which led 
to their departure from the genial shores of California. 

It has been stated that the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine caused them to 
leave; but that is hardly the fact, for they remained seventeen years after this policy 
was announced to the countries of Europe; it is, however, probably true that European 
nations had something to do with it, for both France and England had an eye upon 
this territory, and both hoped some day to possess it. As long as the Russians main- 
tained a colony here, they had a prior claim to the territory; hence they must be got rid 
of The Russians also recognized the fact that the Americans were beginning to come 
into the country in considerable numbers, and that it was inevitable that they should 
overrun and possess it. The subsequent train of events proved that their surmises were 
correct; one thing, however, is evident, and that is, that they did not depart at the 
request or behest of either the Spanish or Mexican Governments. It is almost certain 
that the Russians contemplated a permanent settlement at this point when they 
located here, as this section would provide them with wheat, an article much needed 
for the supply of their stations in the far north. Of course, as soon as the Spanish 
authorities came to know of their permanent location, word was sent of the fact to 
Madrid. In due course of time reply came from the seat of Government ordering the 
Muscovite intruders to depart, but to this peremptory order, their only answer was that 
the matter had been referred to St. Petersburg. 

We have shown above that an interview had taken place between Koskoff and the 
Spanish authorities on board the Rurick, when anchored in the Bay of San Francisco, 
.to consult on the complaints of the latter, but that nothing came of it. The com- 
mandants under the Mexican regime, in later years, organized several military expe- 
ditions for the purpose of marching against the intruders, but none in that direction 
was ever made. For more than a quarter of a century they continued to hold undis- 
turbed possession of the disputed territory, prosecuted their farming, stock-raising, 
hunting, trapping, and ship-building enterprises; and, -whatever may have been the 
causes which led to it, there finally came a time when the Russian authorities had 
decided to withdraw the California colony. The proposition was made first by them 
to the Government authorities at Monterey, to dispose of their interests at Bodega and 
Fort Ross, including their title to the land, but, as the authorities had never recog- 
nized their right or title, and did not wish to do so at that late date, they refused the 
purchase. Application was next made to Gen. M. G. Vallejo, but on the same 
grounds he refused to buy. They then applied to Capt. John A. Sutter, a gentle- 
man at that time residing near where Sacramento City now stands, and who had 
made a journey from Sitka some years before in one of their vessels. They persuaded 
Sutter into the belief that their title was good, and could be maintained; so, after 

82 History of Alameda County, California. 

making out a full invoice of the articles they had for disposal, including all the land 
lying between Point Reyes and Point Mendocino, and one league inland, as well as 
cattle, farming and mechanical implements, also, a schooner of one hundred and 
eighty, tons burthen, some arms, a four pound trass field-piece, etc., a price was 
decided upon, the sum being thirty thousand dollars, which, however, was not paid at 
one time, but in cash installments of a few thousand dollars, the last payment being 
made through ex-Governor Burnett, in 1 849. All the stipulations of the sale having 
been arranged satisfactorily to both parties, the transfer was duly made, and Sutter 
became, as he had every right to expect, the greatest land-holder in California — the 
grants given by the Mexican Government seemed mere bagatelles when compared to 
his princely domain — but, alas for human hopes and aspirations, in reality he had paid 
an enormous price for a very paltry compensation of personal and chattel property 1 
It is apropos here to remark that in 1859, Sutter disposed of his Russian claim, which 
was a six-eighths interest -in the lands mentioned above, to William Muldrew, George 
R. Moore, and Daniel W. Welty, but they only succeeded in getting six thousand 
dollars out of one settler, and, the remainder refusing to pay, the claim-was dropped. 
Some of the settlers were inclined to consider the Muldrew claim, as it is called, a 
blackmailing affair, and to censure General Sutter for disposing of it to them, charg- 
ing that he sanctioned the pilfering process, and was to share in its profits, but 
we will justice to the memory of that large-hearted pioneer, that so far as he 
was concerned, there was no idea of extortion on his part. He supposed that he had 
purchased a bona fide claim and title to the land in question of the Russians, and 
always considered the grants given by the Mexican Government as bogus, hence, on 
giving the quit-claim deed to Muldrew et al. he sincerely thought that he was deeding 
that to which he alone had any just or legal claim. 

Orders were sent to the settlers at Fort Ross to repair at once to San Francisco 
Bay, and ships were dispatched to bring them there, where whaling vessels bound for 
the northern fishing grounds had been chartered to convey them to Sitka. These 
craft arrived at an early hour in the day, and on the orders being shown to Rotscheff, 
the commander, he ordered the bells in the ch»pel towers to be rung, and the cannon 
to be fired, this being the usual method of convocating the people at an unusual hour, 
or for some especial purpose, so, everything was suspended just there — the husband- 
man left his plow standing in the half-turned furrow and unloosed his oxen, never 
again to yoke them, leaving them to wander at will over the fields; the mechanic 
dropped his planes and saws on the bench, with the half-smoothed board remaining 
in the vise; the tanner left his tools where he was using them, and doffed his apron 
to don it no more in California. As soon as the entire population had assembled, 
Rotscheff arose and read the orders. Very sad and unwelcome, indeed, was the 
intelligence, but the edict had emanated from a source which could not be gainsaid, 
and the only alternative was a speedy and complete compliance, however reluctant it 
might be — and thus four hundred people were made homeless by the fiat of a single 
word. Time was only given to gather up a few household effects with some of the 
choicest mementoes, and they were hurried on board ship. Scarcely time was given 
to those whose loved ones were sleeping in the grave-yard near by, to pay a last sad 
visit to their resting-place. Embarkation was commenced at once; 

Early History and Settlement. 83 

" And with the ebb of the tide the ships sailed out of the harbor, 
Leaving behind them the dead on the shore,'' 

And all the happy scenes of their lives, which had glided smoothly along on the 
beautiful shores of the Pacific and in the garden spot of the world. Sad and heavy 
must have been their hearts, as they gazed for the last time upon the receding land- 
scape which their eyes had learned to love, because it had been that best of places — 


"This is the forest primeval; but virhere are the hearts that beneath it 
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman ? 
Waste are the pleasant farms, all the farmers forever departed! 
Scattered like dust and leaves, when-the mighty blasts of October 
Seize them and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far over the ocean. 
Naught but tradition remains. « 

Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches 
Dwells another race, with ether customs and languE^e, 
While from its rocky caverns the deep- voiced neighboring ocean 
' Speaks, and in accents disconsolate, .answers the wail of the forest. " 

At this stage of our remarks it may, perhaps, be well to introduce the reader to a 
few of the characteristics, manners, customs, and mode of living of the native 
Californians. These were for the most part, a half-caste race between the white 
Castillian and the native Indian, very few of the natives retaining the pure blood of 
old Castile; they were consequently of all shades of color and developed, the women 
especially, into a handsome and comely people. Their wants were few and easily 
supplied; they were contented and happy; the women were virtuous and great devo- 
tees to their church and religion, while, the men in their normal condition were kind 
and hospitable, but when excited, they became rash, fearless and cruel, with no dread 
for either knife or pistol. Their generosity was great, everything they had being 
at the disposal of a friend, or even a stranger, while socially, they loved pleasure, spending 
most of their time in music and dancing; indeed such was their passion for the latter 
that their horses have been trained to cavort in time to the tones of the guitar. When 
not sleeping, eating, or dancing, the men passed most of their time in the saddle and 
naturally were veiy expert equestrians.. Horse-racing was with them a daily occur- 
rence, not for the gain which it might bring, but for the amusement to be derived 
therefrom; and to throw a dollar upon the ground, ride at full gallop and pick it up, 
was a feat that almost any of them could perform. 

Horses and cattle gave them their chief occupation. They could use the riata 
or lasso with the utmost dexterity; whenever thrown at a bullock, horseman, or bear, 
it rarely missed its mark. The riata in the hand of a Californian was a more dan- 
gerous weapon than gun or pistol, while, to catch a wild cow with it, throw her and 
tie her without dismounting, was most common, and to go through the same per- 
formance with a bear was not considered extraordinary. Their only articles of export 
were hides and tallow, the value of the former being about one dollar and a half in 
cash, or two in goods, and the latter three cents per pound in barter. Young heifers 
of two years old, for breeding purposes, were worth three dollars; a fat steer, delivered 
to the purchaser, brought fifty cents more, while it was considered neither trespass 
nor larceny, to kill a beeve, use the flesh, and hang the hide and tallow on a tree, 
secure from coyotes, where it could be found by the owner. 

84 History of Alameda County, California. 

Lands- outside of the towns were only valuable for grazing purposes. For this 
use every citizen of good character, having cattle, could, for the asking, and by paying 
a fee to the officials, and a tax upon the paper upon which it was written, get a grant 
for a grazing tract of from one to eleven square leagues of land. These domains were 
called ranchos, the only improvements on them being usually a house and corral. 
They were never inclosed; they were never surveyed, but extended from one well- 
defined landmark to another, and whether they contained two or three leagues more 
or less was regarded as a matter of no consequence, for the land itself was of no 
value to the Government. 

It was not necessary for a man to keep his cattle on his own land. They were 
ear-marked and branded when young, and these established their ownership. The 
stock roamed whithersoever they wished, the ranchero sometimes finding his animals 
fifty or sixty miles away from his grounds. About the middle of March commenced 
the '^ Rodeo" season, which was fixed in advance by the ranchero, who would send 
notice to his neighbors around, when all, with their vaqueros, would attend and par- 
ticipate. The rodeo was the gathering in one locality of all the cattle on the rancho. 
When this was accomplished, the next operation was for each ranchero present to part 
out from the general herd all animals bearing his brand and ear-mark and take them 
off to his own rancho. In doing this they were allowed to take all calves that followed 
their mothers, what was left in the rodeo belonging to the owner of the rancho, who 
had them marked as his property. On some of the ranchos the number of calves 
branded and marked each year appears to us at this date to be enormous, Joaquin 
Bernal, who owned the Santa Teresa Rancho, in the Santa Clara Valley, having beerl 
in the habit of branding not less than five thousand head yearly. In this work a 
great many horses were employed. Fifty head was a small number for a ranchero to 
own, while they frequently had from five to si'x hundred trained animals, principally 
geldings, for the mares were kept exclusively for breeding purposes. The latter were 
worth a dollar and a half per head; the price of saddle horses was from two dollars 
and fifty cents to twelve dollars. 

In the month of December, 1865, a writer under the nom de plume of " Yadnus," 
thus writes to the San Josd Mercury : — 

" Not many years ago, in the agricultural counties, or, as they are more ele- 
gantly termed in the parlor language of California, ' Cow Counties,' prevailed to a 
great extent the custom which has given rise to the following rough verses. Until 
the heavy floods and severe weather of the memorable winter of 1861, had more 
than decimated their herds, it was the practice (in accordance with law, I believe), for 
the wealthy rancheros — men who counted their cattle (when they counted them at all) 
by the thousands — to hold twice a year, a rodeo {rodere), to which all who owned 
stock within a circuit of fifty miles repaired, with their friends, and often with their 
families. At the appointed time, the cattle, for many leagues around, were gathered 
up by the horsemeji, or vaqueros {buckaros), of the different stockmen and driven into 
a large coi;ral, where the branding, marking, and claiming of stock occupied some- 
times a week. At the largest rodeo I ever witnessed there were gathered together some 
thirty thousand head of cattle, and at least three hundred human beings, among whom 
were many of the gentler sex. These rodeos were usually presided over by a ' Judge 

Early History and Settlement. 


of the Plains,' an officer appointed in later years by the Board of Supervisors, and 
whose duty it was to arbitrate between owners in all disputes that might' arise as to 
cattle-property, overhaul and inspect all brands of stock being driven from or through 
the county, and to steal as many 'hoobs' as he possibly could without detection. In 
fact, the 'perquisites' constituted pretty nearly the entire pay of this valuable officer, 
and if they all understood their business as well as the one it was my fortune to cabin 
with for a number of months, they made the office pay pretty well." 

The following poetic description of a rodeo is well worthy the perusal of the 
reader: — 


Few are the sunny years, fair land of gold. 

That round thy brow their circlet bright have twined ; 
-Yet, each thy youthful form hath still enrolled 

In wondrous garb of peace and wealth combined. 
Few are the years since old Hispariia's sons 

Reared here their missions — tolled the chapel bell; 
Subdued the natives with their priestly guns, 

To bear the cross of God — and man as well. 

Oft have the holy Fathers careless stood 

Within thy valleys; then a blooming waste : 
Or heedless, toiled among the mountain flood, 

That rich with treasure, downward foamed and raced. 
Those times and scenes have long since passed away. 

Before the white man's wisdom-guided tread. 
As fly the shades before the steps of day, 

When in the east he lifts his radiant head. 

But still thy valleys and thy mountains teem 

With customs common to the race of old, 
Like Indian names bequeathed to lake and stream, 

They'll live while Time his restless reign shall hold. 
'Tis of one such that I essay to sing, 

A custom much ip vogue in sections here. 
Till flood and frost did such destruction bring 

That scarce since then was needed a rodere.~ 

They coine ! and thundering down the red-land slope. 

The fierce ganado madly tears along. 
While, close behind, urged to their utmost lope, 

The wild caballos drive the surging throng. 
At headlong speed the drivers keep the band, 

With yells, and oaths, and waving hats and coats, 
Till in the strong corral they panting, stand. 

And rest is gained for horses and for throats. 

Then comes the breakfast; soon the steer they kill. 

And quickly is the dressing hurried through; 
The meat is cooked by rude, yet well-liked skill. 

And — all do know what hungry men can do. 
The Padron sits beneath yon old oak tree, 

Encircled by a group of chatting friends; 
For at rodeo, all one can eat is free. 

So all around in greasy uilion blends. 

The breakfast finished, cigai^ettes alight. 

Unto the huge corral all h&nds proceed; 
The strong-wove cinches are made doubly tight. 

And the riata's noose prepared for need. 
The fire is kindled, and the Iron brand. 

Amid its coals, receives thfc wonted heat; 
The Padron leaves assent, with eager hand. 

And the dark riders bound to saddle-seat. 

Last night, at sunset, down the stream, I saw 

The dark vaqueros ride along the plain. 
With jingling spur, and bit, wuijaquima. 

And snake-like lariats scarce e'er hurled in vain; 
The steeds they rode were champing on the bit, 

The agile riders lightly sat their "trees," 
And many a laugh and waif of Spani^ wit 

Made merry music on the evening breeze. 

Far out beyond the hills their course they took, 

And where there lies, in early-summer days, 
A lake, a slough, or chance a pebbly brook. 

The coyote saw the camp-fire wildly blaze. 
All night they lay beneath the lurid glare. 

Till had upsprung morn's beauteous herald star. 
And then, received each here the needed care, 

Quick o'er the plains they scattered near and far. 

Where yon dark cloud of duSt is rising high. 

The swart vaquero like ' thfe lightning dart. 
And singling out their prey with practiced eye. 

Rush him from the affrightfed herd apart, 
Then whirls the lasso, whistling through the air. 

In rapid circles o'er eaph horseman's head, 
Till round thb yearling's throat is hurled the snare 

Burning like a huge coil of molten lead. 

Then heedless of its struggles to get free. 

They drag it to the Mayordomo' s stand, 
■ Who, though of tender heart he's wont to be, 

Now, merciless, sears deep in its flesh the brand. 
The Spanish mother, at her youngling's cry, 

Comes charging down with maddened hoof and' horn. 
While far and wide the crowd of gazers fly. 

And hide behind the fence-posts till she's gone. 

History of Alameda County, California. 

In faith, it is a sight well worth to see, These things, and many more, tend well to fill 

For those who like excitement's feverish touch. The eager cravings of the morbid mind, 

And he who can look on and passive be, Akin to passions that full oft instill 

Has ice within his nature overmuch. Feelings that prompt the torture of its kind; 

What frantic bellowings pierce the startled air. But he who rashly seeks a closer view ; 

What clouds of dust obscure the mid-day sky. Of tortured calf, to mark each groan and sigh, 

What frenzied looks the maddened cattle wear, Receives, full oft, rebuke in black and blue, 

As round and round, in vain, they raging fly! Pointed with force to where his brains most lie . 

By the time the rodeo season was over, about the middle of May, the "Matanza," 
or killing season, commenced. The number of cattle slaughtered each year was 
commensurate with the number of calves marked, and the amount of herbage for the 
year, for no more could be kept alive than the pasture on the rancho could sup- 
port. After the butchering, the hides were taken off and dried; the tallow, fit for 
market, was put into bags made from hides; the fattest portions of the meat were made 
into soap, while some of the best was cut, pulled into thin shreds, dried in the sun, and 
the remainder thrown to the buzzards and the dogs,a numberof which were kept — young 
dogs were never destroyed — to clean up after a matanza. Three or four hundred of 
these curs were to be found on a rancho, and it was no infrequent occurrence to see a 
ranchero come into a town with a string of them at his horse's heels. 

Let us consider one of the habitations of these people. Its construction was 
beautiful in its extreme simplicity. The walls were fashioned of large, sun-dried 
bricks made of that black loam known to settlers in the Golden State as adobe soil, 
mixed with straw, measuring about eighteen inches square and three in thickness, 
these being demented with mud, plastered within with the same substance, and white- 
washed whfen finished. The rafters and joists were of rough timber, with the bark 
simply peeled off, and placed in the requisite position, the thatch being of rushes or 
chaparral, fastened down with thongs of bullocks' hide. When completed, these 
dwellings stand the brunt and wear of many decades of years, as can be evidenced 
by the number which are still occupied throughout the country. The furniture con- 
sisted of a few cooking utensils, a rude bench or two, sometimes a table, and the 
never-failiflg red camphor-wood trunk. This chest contained the extra clothes of the 
women — the men wore theirs on their backs — and when a visit of more than a day's 
duration was made, the box was taken along. They were cleanly in their persons 
and clothing; the general dress being, for females, a common calico gown of plain 
colors, blue grounds with small figures being most fancied. The fashionable ball- 
dress of the young ladies was a scarlet flannel petticoat covered with a white lawn 
skirt, a combination of tone in color which is not surpassed by the modern gala cos- 
tume. Bonnets there were none, the head-dress consisting of a long, narrow shawl 
or scarf So graceful was their dancing that it was the- admiration of all strangers; 
but as much cannot be said for that of the men, for the more noise they made the 
better it suited them. 

The dress of the men was a cotton shirt, cotton drawers, calzonazos, sash, serape, 
and hat. The calzonazos took the place of pantaloons in the modern costume, and 
differed from these by being open down the sides, or rather, the seams on the sides 
were not sewed as in pantaloons, but were laced together from the waistband to the 
hips by means of a ribbon run through eyelets; thence they were fastened with large 
silver bell-buttons. In wearing them they were left open from the knee down. The 

Early History and Settlement.: 87 

best of these garments were made of broadcloth, the inside and outside seams being 
faced with cotton velvet. The serape was a blanket with a hole through its center, 
through which the head was inserted, the remainder hanging to the knees before and 
behind. These cloaks were invariably of brilliant colors, and varied in price from four 
to one hundred and fifty dollars. The calzonazos were held in their place by a pink 
sash worn around the waist, while the serape served as a coat by day and a covering 
by night. , 

Their courtship was to the western mind peculiar, no. flirting or love-making being 
permitted. When a young man of marriageable age saw a young lady whom he 
thought would make a happy help-mate, he had first to make his wishes known to his 
own father,in whose household the eligibility of the connection was primarily canvassed, 
when, if the desire was regarded with favor, the father of the enamored swain addressed 
a letter to the father of the young lady, asking for his daughter in marriage for his 
son. The matter was then freely discussed between the parents of the girl, and, if 
an adverse decision was arrived at, the father of the young man was by letter so 
informed, and the matter was at an end; but if the decision of her parents was favor- 
able to him, then the young lady's inclinations were consulted, and her decision 
communicated in the same manner, when they were affianced, and the affair became 
a matter of common notoriety. Strephon might then visit Chloe, was received as a 
member of her family, and when the time came the marriage was celebrated by 
. feasting and dancing, which usually lasted from three to four days. It may be 
mentioned here that when a refusal of marriage was made, the lady was said to have 
given her lover the pfumpkin — Se dio la cabala: 

The principal articles of food were beef and beans, in the cooking and pre- 
paring of which they were unsurpassed; while they cultivated, to a certain extent, 
maize, melons, and pumpkins. The bread used was the tortilla, a wafer in the shape 
of the Jewish unleavened bread, which was, when not made of wheaten flour, baked 
from corn. When prepared of the last-named meal, it was first boiled in a weak 
lye made of wood ashes, and then by hand ground into a paste between two stones; 
this process completed, a small portion of the dough was taken out, and by dexter- 
ously throwing it up from the back of one hand to that of the other the shape was 
formed, when it was placed upon a flat iron and baked over the fire. 

The mill in which their grain was ground was made of two stbnes as nearly 
round as possible, of about thirty inches in diameter, and each being dressed on one 
side to a smooth surface. One was set upon a frame some two feet high, with 
the smooth face upwards; the other was placed on this with the even face down- 
wards, while, through an inch-hole in the center, was the grain fed by hand. Two 
holes drilled partly through each admitted an iron bolt, by means of which a long 
pole was attached, to its end was harnessed a horse, mule, or donkey, and the animal, 
being driven round in a circle, caused the stone to revolve. We are informed that 
these mills were capable of grinding a bushel of wheat in about twelve hours ! Their 
vehicles and agricultural implements were quite as primitive, the cart in common 
use being framed in the following manner: The two wheels were sections of a log 
with a hole drilled or bored through the center, the axle being a pole sharpened 
at each extremity for spindles, with a hole and pin at either end to prevent the 

88 History of Alameda County, California. 

wheels from slipping off. Another pole fastened to the middle of the axle served 
, the purpose of a tongue. Upon this frame-work was set, or fastened, a species of 
wicker-work, framed of sticks, bound together with strips of hide. The beasts of 
burden were oxen, which were yoked with a stick across the forehead, notched and 
crooked so as to fit the head closely, and the whole tied with rawhide. The plow 
was a still more quaint affair. It consisted of a long piece of timber which served 
the purpose of a beam, to the end of which a handle was fastened; a mortise was 
next chiseled in order to admit the plow, which was a short stick with a natural 
crook, having a small piece of iron fastened on one end of it. With this crude imple- 
ment was the ground upturned, while the branch of a convenient tree served the 
purposes of a harrow. Fences there were none so that crops might be protected; 
ditches were therefore dug, and the chests of the sod covered with the branches of 
trees, to warn away the numerous bands of cattle and horses, and prevent their intru- 
sion upon the newly sown grain. When the crops were ripe they were cut with a 
sickle, or any other convenient weapon, and then it became necessary to thresh it. 
Now for the modus operandi. The floor of the corral into which it was customarj' to 
drive the horses and cattle to lasso them, from constant use, had become hardened. 
Into this inclosure the grain would be piled, and upon it the manatha, or band of 
mares, would be turned loose to tramp out the seed. The wildest horses, or mayhap 
the colts that had only been driven once, and then to be branded, would sometimes 
be turned adrift upon the straw, when would ensue a scene of the wildest confusion, 
the excited animals being urged, amidst the yelling of vaqueros and the cracking of 
whips, here, there, and everywhere, around, across, and lengthwise, until the whole 
was trampled, and naught left but the grain and chaff. The most difficult part, how- 
ever, was the separating- these two articles. Owing to the length of the dry season 
there was no urgent haste to effect this; therefore, when the wind was high enough, the 
trampled mass would be tossed into the air with large wooden forks cut from the 
adjacent oaks and the wind carry away the lighter chaff, leaving the heavier grain. 
With a favorable breeze several bushels of wheat could thus be winnowed in the course 
of a day; while, strange as it may appear, it is declared that grain so sifted was much 
cleaner than it is now, although manipulated by modern science. 

The government of the native Californian was as primitive as himself. There 
were neither law-books nor lawyers, while laws were mostly to be found in the tradi- 
tions of the people. The head officer in each village was the Alcalde, in whom was 
vested the judicial function, who received on the enactment of a new law a manuscript 
copy, called a bando, upon the obtaining of which a person was sent round beating a 
snare drum, which was a signal for the assemblage of the people at the Alcalde's 
office, where the Act was read, thus promulgated, and forthwith had the force of law. 
"When a citiz en had cause of action against another requiring the aid of court, he 
went to the Alcalde and verbally stated his complaint in his own way, arid asked that 
the defendant be sent for, who was at once summoned by an officer, simply saying 
that he was wanted by the Alcalde. The defendant made his appearance without 
loss of time, where, if in the same village, the plaintiff was generally in waiting. The 
Alcalde commenced by stating the complaint against him, and asked what he had to 
say about it. This brought about an altercation between the parties, and nine times 


Early History and Settlement. 89 

out of ten the Justice could get at the facts in this wise, and announce judgment 
immediately, the whole suit not occupying two hours from its beginning. In more 
important cases three "good men " would be called in to act as co-justices, while the 
testimony of witnesses had seldom to be resorted to. A learned American Judge has 
said that "the native Californians were, in the presence of their Courts, generally 
truthful. What they know of false swearing or perjury they have learned from their 
association with Americans. It was truthfully said by the late Edmund Randolph 
that the United States Board of Commissioners to settle private land claims in Cali- 
fornia had besn the graves of their reputations.'' 

They were all Roman Catholics, and their priests of the Franciscan Order. They 
were great church-goers, yet Sunday was not the only day set apart for their devotions. 
Nearly every day in the calendar was devoted to the memory of some Saint, while 
those dedicated to the principal ones were observed as holidays; so that Sunday did 
not constitute more than half the time which they consecrated to religious exercises, 
many of which were so much in contrast to those of the present day that they deserve 
a short description. 

The front door of their churches was always open, and every person passing, 
whether on foot or on horseback, did so hat in hand; any forgetfulness on this head 
caused the unceremonious removal of the sombrero. During the holding of services 
within, it was customary to station a number of men without, who at appointed 
intervals interrupted the proceedings with the ringing of bells, the firing of pistols, and 
the shooting of muskets, sustaining a noise resembling the irregular fire of a company 
of infantry. 

In every church was kept a number of pictures of their saints, and a triumphal 
arch profusely decorated with artificial flowers; while, on a holiday devoted to any 
particular saint, after the performance of mass, a picture of the saint, deposited in 
the arch, would be carried out of the church on the shoulders of four men, followed 
by the whole congregation in double file, with the priest at the head, book in hand. 
The procession would march all round the town (if in one), and at every few rods 
would kneel on the ground while the priest read a prayer or performed some religious 
ceremony. After the circuit of the town had been made, the train returned to the 
church, entering it in the same order as that in which they had departed. With 
the termination of these exercises, horse-racing, cock-fighting, gambling, dancing, 
and a general merry-making completed the work of the day. A favorite amusement 
of these festivals was for thirty or forty men on horseback, generally two, but 
sometimes three on one horse, with their guitars, to parade the towns, their horses 
capering and keeping time to the music, accompanied with songs by the whole com- 
pany, in this manner visiting, playing, and singing at all the places of business and 
principal residences; and it was considered no breach of decorum for men on horses 
to enter stores and dwellings. 

Some of their religious ceremonies were very grotesque and amusing, the per- 
sonification of "The Wise Men of the East" being of this character. At the sup- 
posed anniversary of the visit of the wise men to Bethlehem, seven or eight men 
would be found dressed in the most fantastic styles, going in company from house to 
house, looking for the infant Saviour. They were invariably accompanied by one 

90 History of Alameda County, California. 

representing the devil, in the garb of a Franciscan friar, with his rosary of beads and 
the cross, carrying a long rawhide whip, and woe to the man who came within reach 
of that whip — it was far from fun to him, though extremely amusing to the rest of 
the party. The chief of these ceremonies, however, was the punishment of Judas 
Iscariot for the betrayal of his master. On the supposed periodicity of this event, 
after nightfall, and the people had retired to rest, a company would go out and pre- 
pare the forthcoming ceremonies. A cart was procured and placed in the public 
square in front of the church, against which was set up an effigy made to represent 
Judas, by stuffing an old suit of clothes with straw. The houses were then visited 
and a collection of pots, kettles, dishes, agricultural implements — in fact, every con- 
ceivable article of personal property was scraped together and piled up around Judas, 
to represent his effects, until in appearance he was the wealthiest man in the whole 
country. Then the last will and testament of Judas had to be prepared, a work 
which was accorded to the best scribe and the greatest wit of the community. Every 
article of property had to be disposed of, and something like an equal distribution 
among all the people made, each bequest being accompanied by some very pointed 
and witty reason for its donation. Among a more sensitive people, some of these 
reasons would be regarded as libelous. The will, when completed and properly 
attested, was posted on a bulletin board near the effigy, and the night's work was 
performed. As soon as sufficiently light the entire population, men, women, and 
children congregated to see Judas and his wealth, and to hear read, and discuss the 
merits of his will and appropriateness of its provisions. Nothing else was talked of; 
nothing else was thought of, until the church bell summoned them to mass; after 
which a wild, unbroken mare was procured, on the back of which Judas was firmly 
strapped; a string of fire-crackers was then tied to her tail, they were lighted, she was 
turned loose, and the ultimate fate of the figurative Judas was not unlike that which 
we are told occurred to his perfidious prototype. 

The native Californians were a temperate people, intoxication being almost 
unknown. Wines and liquors existed in the country, but were sparingly used. In 
a saloon, where a " bit's worth " was called for, the decanter was not handed to the 
customer, as we believe is now the case, but was invariably measured out, and if the 
liquor was a potent spirit, in a very small dose; while a " bit's " worth was a treat for a 
considerable company, the glass being passed around from one to the other, each tak- 
ing a sip. The following amusing episode in this regard, which occurred in the 
Pueblo de San Josd, in 1847, may find a place here. Juan Soto, an old gray-headed 
man and a great friend to Americans — for every one who spoke English was an 
American to him — had come into possession of a " bit," and being a generous, whole- 
souled man, he desired to treat five or six of his friends and neighbors. To this end 

he got them together, marched them to Weber's store, and there meeting , who, 

tho' hailing from the Emerald Isle, passed for an American, invited him to join in the 
symposium. The old Spaniard placed his " bit " upon the counter with considerable 
eclat, and called for its value in wine, which was duly measured out. As a mark of 

superior respect he first handed it to , who, wag that he was, swallowed the entire 

contents, and awaited the denouement with keen relish. Soto and his friends looked 
at each other in blank amazement, when there burst out a tirade in their native tongue, 
the choice expressions in which may be more readily imagined than described. 

Early History and Settlement. 91 

There was one vice that was common to nearly all of these people, and which 
eventually caused their ruin, namely, a love of gambling. Their favorite game was 
;«ok/^, probably the first of all banking games. So passionately were they addicted 
to this, that on Sunday, around the church, while the women were inside and the 
priest at the altar, crowds of men would have their blankets spread upon the ground 
with their cards and money, playing their favorite game of monte. They entertained 
no idea that it was a sin, nor that there was anything derogatory to their character as 
good Christians. This predilection was early discovered and turned to account by the 
Americans, who soon established banks, and carried on games for their amusement 
especially. The passion soon became so developed that they would bet and lose their 
horses and cattle, while to procure money to gratify this disposition, they would borrow 
from Americans at the rate of twelve and a half per cent per day; mortgaging and selling 
their lands and stock, yea, even their wives' clothing, so that their purpose should be 
gratified, and many unprincipled Westerns of those days enriched themselves in this 
manner at the expense of these poor creatures. 

Before leaving this people, mention should be made of their bull and bear fights. 
Sunday, or some prominent holiday, was invariably the day chosen for holding these, 
to prepare for which a large corral was erected (in San Jose) in the plaza, in front of 
the church, for they were witnessed by priest and layman alike. In the afternoon, 
after divine service, two or three good bulls (if a bull-fight only) would be caught and 
put in the inclosure, when the combat commenced. If there is anything that will 
make a wild bull furious it is the sight of a red blanket. Surrounded by the entire 
population, the fighters entered the arena, each with one of these in one hand and a 
knife in the other, the first of which they would flaunt before the furious beast, but 
guardedly keeping it between the animal and himself Infuriated beyond degree,' 
with flashing eye and head held down, the bull would dash at his enemy, who, with a 
dexterous side spring would evade the onslaught, leaving the animal to strike the 
blanket, and as he passed would inflict a slash with his knife. Whenever by his quick- 
ness he could stick his knife into the bull's neck just behind the horns, thereby wound- 
ing the spinal cord, the bull fell a corpse and the victor received the plaudits of the 
admiring throng. The interest taken in these exhibitions was intense; and, what 
though a man was killed, had his ribs broken, was thrown over the fence, or tossed on to 
the roof of a house ; it only added zest to the sport, it was of no moment, the play 
went on. It was a national amusement. When a grizzly bear could be procured, 
then the fight, instead of being between man and bull, was between bull and bear. 
Both were tal^en into the corral, each being made fast to either end of a rope of sufifi- 
cient length to permit of free action, and left alone until they chose to open the ball. 
The first motion was usually made by the bull endeavoring to part company with the 
bear, who thus received the first " knock-down." On finding that he could not get 
clear of Bruin, he then charged him, but was met half-way. If the bear could catch 
the bull by the nose, he held him at a disadvantage, but he more frequently found that 
he had literally taken the bull by the hotns, when the fight became intensely interest- 
ing, and was kept up until one or the other was killed, or both refused to renew the 
combat. The bull, unless his horns were clipped, was generally victorious. 

The custom of bull and bear fighting was kept up by the native Californians, as 

92 History of Alameda County, California. 

a money-making institution from the Americans, until the year 1854, when the Legis- 
lature interposed by " An Act to prevent Noisy and Barbarous Amusements on the 


The following anecdote in regard to it has been related to us, and may serve to 
vary the tedium of the reader. Shortly after the foregoing enactment became a law, 
great preparations were made for having a bull-fight, on the Sabbath as usual, at the 
old Mission of San Juan Bautista. They were notified by the officers of the existence 
of the new law, and that they mu-st desist from the undertaking. Doctor Wiggins, a 
mission pioneer in California since 1842, was then residing at San Juan ; he spoke 
Spanish fluently, and was looked upon as a great friend by the native Californians. 
He never smiled, nor appeared to jest — yet, he was the greatest tale-teller, jester, and 
punster on the Pacific Coast. In sallies of genuine wit he stood unequaled. In 
their perplexity about the new law, the Californians took counsel with the doctor ; he 
examined the title of the Act with much seriousness and an air of great wisdom: "Go 
on with your bull-fights," was the doctor's advice; " they can do nothing with you. 
This is an Act to prevent noisy and barbarous amusements on the Sabbath. If they 
arrest you, you will be entitled to trial by jury; the jury will be Americans; they will, 
before they can convict you, have to find three things; first, that a bull-fight is noisy; 
this they will find against you; second, that it is barbarous; this they will find against 
you; but an American jury will never find that it is an amusement in Christ s time. 
Go on with your bull-fights." They did go on and were arrested, to find that the 
doctor had been practicing a cruel joke on this long-cherished institution. They- 
were sentenced to pay a fine, and it was the last of the bull-fights. Thus passed 
away the only surviving custom of a former civilization. 

In the year 1728 a Dane named Vitus Bering, was employed by Catherine of 
Russia to proceed on an exploring expedition to the northwest coast of America and 
Asia, to find, if possible, an undiscovered connection between the Atlantic and Pacific 
Oceans. On this voyage he solved the riddle and gave to the world the straits which 
now bear his name. On his return he tendered to the Empress the handsome skins 
which he had procured on his cruise, and so delighted was she, and so excited was the 
cupidity of capitalists from other countries, that soon settlements were established on 
the coast, and the collection of furs commenced. In 1799 the Russian American Fur 
Company was organized and located in what is now known as Alaska; Sitka was 
founded in 1 805 ; and for many years the neighbors of the Russ were the Austrian^ 
and Danes. Now came the British. An association known as the King George's Sound 
Company was organized in London in 1784, for the purpose of making a settlement 
on the Pacific Coast, whither many of their vessels found their way up till 1790. 
Between the years 1784 and 1790, the coast was visited by ships of the East India. 
Company, and about the last-named year craft of the United States were first seen in 
these waters. 

The ship Columbia, Robert Gray, Captain, arrived at the Straits of Fuca, June S„ 
1 791, and traded along the coast, discovering the Columbia River, which he named 
after his vessel. May 7, 1792. In 18 10, a number of hunters and trappers arrived in 
the ship Albatross, Captain Smith, and established the first American settlement on 
the Pacific Coast. In the same year, under the leadership of John Jacob Astor, the 

Early History and Settlement. 93 

Pacific Fur Company was organized in New York, and in 1811, they founded the 
present town of Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River. The British, however, 
soon after wrested it from their hands and drove all the Americans out of the country, 
many of whom found their way into California. Between the years 181 3 and 1822, 
save deserters from vessels, and those connected with trading -posts, there were no 
Americans on the coast. 

In his " Natural Wealth of California," Titus Fay Cronise informs us that from 
1825 until 1834 the whole of the California trade was in the hands of a few Boston 
merchants. A voyage to this coast and back, during that time, was an enterprise of 
very uncertain duration, generally occupying two or three years. The outward cargo, 
which usually consisted of groceries and coarse cotton goods, had to be retailed to the 
missionaries and settlers, as there were no "jobbers " in those times, and neither news- 
papers, telegraphs, nor stages through which to inform customers of the ship's arrival. 
The crew had to travel all over the country to convey the news, which occupied con- 
siderable time. It was this portion of their duties that caused so many of them to 
desert their ships. They saw so much of the country, became so charmed with the 
freedom, ease, and plenty that prevailed everywhere, that they preferred to remain on 
shore. Each of these vessels generally brought several young men as adventurers 
who worked their passage out for the privilege of remaining. Many of the early 
settlers, whose children are now among the wealthiest citizens of the State, came to 
California in this manner. 

The outward cargo being disposed of, the homeward one had to be procured. 
Sometimes, when the season had been too dry, or too wet for the lazy vaqueros to 
drive the cattle into the missions to kill, there were no hides nor tallow to be had. On 
such occasions the vessel was obliged to remain till the next season, when a sufficient 
number of cattle would be slaughtered to pay for the goods purchased, as there was 
no " currency " used in the country, except hides and tallow. 

First in California of an alien race to settle was John Cameron, but who had 
assumed his mother's maiden name of Gilroy, and was thus afterwards known. He 
war born in the county of Inverness, Scotland, in the district of Lochaber, in the year 
1794, and in the year 18 13 arrived in Monterey, in one of her Britannic Majesty's 
ships, on board of which he was rated as coxswain of the captain's gig. From here 
he deserted, with a comrade known as " Deaf Jimmy," and waiting, carefully hidden, 
until the vessel had departed, the two friends, in their search, of employment, found 
their way into the Santa Clara Valley. Gilroy established himself at the little town 
of San Ysidro, now generally called Old Gilroy, in contradistinction to the new town 
of Gilroy, where he married and remained till his death, which occurred in July, 1869. 
His confrere came to the north of the bay, and died in Sonoma County. At this 
time there were not half-a-dozen foreign settlers in the whole country, save the 
Russians, who, it will be remembered, then occupied Bodega and Fort Ross, on the 
coast, while from San Francisco to Los Angeles there were only eight ranchos, the 
property of Mexican Colonists. 

Prior to the year 1820 fee manner of living was most primitive, and had it not 
been that horses were plentiful the mode of locomotion would have, of a necessity, 
been confined to pedestrianism, for, as there were no roads, there were no vehicles, 

94 History of Alameda County, California. 

while the wheels of those whicl;i existed were innocent of fellah, spoke, hub, and tire. 
Not a hotel nor house of public entertainment was to be found throughout the length 
and breadth of the land, while there was no sawed timber, that used for building 
being hewn with axes by Indians. A fire-place or stove was unknown in a dwelling, 
nor did these come into use until 1846, after the American occupation. 

The settlement of Alameda County may be said to have commenced some three- 
score years ago. In consideration of the distinguished and meritorious services of 
Don Luis Maria Peralta, a native of Tubec, Sonora, who had arrived with some com- 
patriots at the presidio of San Francisco in the year 1776, and had subsequently com- 
manded the garrison at the Pueblo de San Jos^, was granted by Governor Don Pablo 
Vicente de Sola a tract of land five leagues in extent, and which has since proved to 
be the most magnificent grant ever made in California, and one of the most valuable 
estates ever granted to an individual as a reward for praiseworthy deeds. Topo- 
graphically, it extended from the San Leandro Creek to the northwestern line of the 
county, and included the territory on which the town of Alameda and the city of 
Oakland with its suburbs have since risen. He married Maria Lolereto Alviso, a union 
that brought him five sons and five daughters, namely: Ygnacio, Domingo, Antonio 
Maria, Vicente; Teodora, who married Mariano Duarte; Trinidad, who married 
Mariano Castro; Josefa, Guadalupe, and Maria Luisa, who espoused Guillermo Castro. 

Don Lui.s, however, never made his home in the family mansion built near the 
foot-hills of the Contra Costa Range, on the San Leandro Creek, but maintained his 
residence in Santa Clara County, where he owned another rancho, leaving the 
property in what is now Alameda County in possession of his sons who enjoyed it in 
common until August, 1842, when the father divided the estate into four equal parts, 
running imaginary lines from the bay to the hills, and allotted to Josd Domingo the 
northerly portion, being that on which Berkeley is now situated; the contiguous 
portion on the south, including the grove of oaks, then called the Encinal de Temescal 
(now the City of Oakland) he awarded to Vicente; to Antonio Maria, he gave that 
division immediately to the south, on which now stands East Oakland and Alameda; 
while Ygnacio took the southeasterly portion, on which stood the old homestead 
where he continued to reside. 

Thus for years was the country between the Contra Costa County line and the 
San Leandro Creek without another resident save the Peralta family and their retain- 
ers, while their neighbors were the very few located at Yerba Buena, who were wont 
occasionally to make the perilous journey across the Bay to pay friendly visits to 
the solitary rancheros. Deep solitude reigned around them only broken by the 
lowing of kine, or mayhap, the reverberating boom of cannon wafted over the waters 
from the presidio. But in 1846 premonitions of the coming change became observ- 
able, and as the months grew into years the transformation became complete. The 
Bear Flag had been raised by a few American settlers at Sonoma; war had been 
waged and peace declared between the United States and Mexico; California had 
become a portion of the Union; and the sun of the Mexfcan had set. The Peraltas 
had possibly thought that their broad acres would descend in one unbroken line from 
father to son, but such is the uncertainty of human calculation, that they soon found 
their fertile lands the envy of the covetous Anglo-Saxon who saw that these could be 

Early History and Settlement. 95 

made valuable for other than pastoral purposes, and in 1850, or shortly thereafter, the 
first encroachment was made upon the soil — the greater portion of 'the territorial 
patrimony of Domingo and Vicente Peralta was sold. In 185 1, Don Luis Peralta 
died at the advanced age of ninety-three years, having lived long enough to have 
brought before him the unpleasant fact that he had once owned the most valuable 
tract of land in California but which was gradually melting away before his eyes. 
He left this world loved by his compatriots and respected by many Americans, be- 
lieving firmly in the religious faith of his people. Previous to his demise he made a 
will confirming the partition of the Rancho San Antonio among his sons, and dispos- 
ing of his personal effects. After his death, what was known as the "sister's title" 
was asserted to an interest in part of the San Antonio Grant, in consequence of which 
protracted litigation ensued, and in the controversy the will of Peralta, which we here 
produce, figured prominently. 

" In the name of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three 
distinct persons and one only true God, and in the presence of the most Holy Virgin 
Mary, my Lady: of the glorious archangel St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael, 
my guardian and my protecting angel, and of my devotion, I, Luis Peralta, being in 
the entire use of my mental faculties, although of an advanced age, and bearing in 
mind the uncertainty of this mortal life, I do hereby make this my will in the best 
form, and declare it to be my last will and testament, and it is as follows: 

" In the first place, I command my sons to have my body buried in the neighbor- 
ing mission of Santa Clara, carrying it to the church, placing it upon the same hearse 
that is used for my fellow-men, the Indians; and that they, my sons, shall cause one 
low mass to be said of requiem, and afterwards, at the time of my burial, they shall 
cause to be said at the time as many responses as may be possible for the repose of 
my soul, for which they (my sons) shall pay alms, and afterwards proceed to the 
execution of my last will as follows: 

"Firstly. I leave the house, my residence, in the the town of San Jos^ Guada- 
lupe, witff'the orchard and fruit trees, all the land which appertains to and belongs to 
said orchard, and all the rest of the land contiguous to the said house, together with 
the appurtenances of this property, in favor of my two daughters, Maria Josefa 
Peralta and Maria Guadalupe Peralta, in full ownership and dominion, and I encharge 
these daughters to remain always together in peace and union, enjoying this property 
mutually as absolute owners thereof Moreover, I declare, particularly, that everything 
that is in this house is my property, and as such I leave it to my above-mentioned daugh- 
ters. The picture of St. Joseph and our Lady Guadalupe being for my said daughter 
Guadalupe, and the crucifix, and our Lady of Dolores for my daughter Maria Josefa. 
I command these two daughters to remain in peace, enjoying the property that I leave 
therein, but if, by marriage or other motive, either one of them should wish to separate 
from the other, then the two may make such agreement as they shall deem fit for this 
and for any other arrangement of their domestic affairs, or of their property of which 
they remain the owners and mistresses without ever being disturbed by any person, 
and may they remain always together, the one serving the other as her guardian 
angel, that God, our Lord, may preserve them from the storms of this world and from 
all ill-inclined persons. 

96 History of Alameda County, California. 

" As regards the cattle belonging to me, that is to say, horned cattle, I declare 
that on the marriage of my children, Maria Teodora, Ygnacio, Domingo, and Trini- 
dad, to each one were given two cows and calves, by reason of having just com- 
menced the rearing of my cattle, but afterwards they received in gift more cattle, as 
they themselves can say, as they know how to speak the truth; also, in the year 1831 
there were delivered to William Castro two hundred and thirty head of horned cattle, 
which were the marriage portion of his wife Maria Luisa Peralta, my daughter. Also, 
I repeat again, that there have been given to my daughters Maria Teodora, and Maria 
Trinidad, two hundred head of horned cattle, and to my son Ygnacio, three hundred 
head of cattle; and over and above those which have already been given to my son 
Domingo, I command that there be given to him one hundred head of cattle; I like- 
wise command that out of the cattle in San Antonio and Temescal that shall be 
found to belong to me, there shall be given two hundred head to each one of my daugh- 
ters Maria Josefa and Maria Guadalupe, and the remainder in Temescal shall belong 
to my son Vicente, and the remainder in San Antonio shall belong to my son 
Antonio Maria, and these two brothers shall take the' charge of the cattle of these two 
sisters, Maria Josefa, and Maria Guadalupe. Inasmuch as I have already portioned 
out to my sons their respective lands, I declare that these lands comprehend all 
my property of the Rancho San Antonio, the title of whose concession and posses- 
sion are in the hands of my son Ygnacio, and which lands I have already divided 
amongst my sons as a donation inter vivos to their entire satisfaction, and which 
donations by these presents I hereby ratify. 

" I declare that I owe no man, and that Nazared Berryeza owes me fifteen dollars. 

" I name as first executor of this, my will, my son Ygnacio Peralta, and my son 
Antonio Maria Peralta as second executor, that they, aided by the rest, may fulfill all 
that I have ordained. 

" Finally. I command all my children that they remain in peace, succoring each 
other in your necessities, eschewing all avaricious ambition, without entering into 
foolish differences for one or two calves, for the cows bring them forth every year; 
and inasmuch as the land is narrow, it is indispensable that the cattle should become 
mixed up, for which reason I command my sons to be friendly and united. 

" Lastly. I command all my children, sons and daughters, to educate and bring 
up their children in the holy fear of God, showing them good example, and keeping 
them from all bad company, in order that our Lord may shower upon them his bless- 
ings, the same which I leave to you, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. 

" I declare that this is my last will and testament, dictated by me, and written in 
my presence, read and signed by myself; and by these presents I revoke and annul 
all and every other will or wills, codicil or codicils, that I may have executed. I 
declare it or them null, and of no value in law or otherwise. 

" In testimony whereof, I have hereunto placed my hand, this twenty-ninth day 
of April, one thousand, eight hundred and fifty-one, in the city of San Jos^, and in 
presence of witnesses that I have called to serve as witnesses of this, my last will. 

"James Alex. Forbes,] "Luis Ma. Peralta. [seal.] 

"Padre Juan Nobile, V "" 
"Demo Damco. I 

Early History and Settlement. 97 

The second grant having connection with Alameda County was that known as 
Los Tularcitos to Jose Higuera, on October 4, 1821, and situated in this and the 
adjoining county of Santa Clara. Their residence stood on the land now occupied 
by Henry Curtner; indeed, a portion of the original adobe house is used by that gen- 
tleman as a stable. 

A law of colonization was adopted in the year 1 824, but the " General Rules 
and Regulations for the Colonization of the Territories of the Republic " did not 
come into force until 1828, and but one single Mexican grant was made anywhere in 
California between that time and the year 1833. 

That our readers may have a proper idea of what manner of life these old 
Spanish rancheros led, we will give a 'description of an establecimiento. In front of the 
house was a court-yard of considerable extent, a part of which was sheltered by a 
piazza; here, when the vaqueros had nothing to call them to the field they would pass 
the day, looking like retainers on a rude court; a dozen or more wild, vicious-looking 
horses, with wooden saddles on their backs, stood ever ready for work, while, loung- 
ing about, the vaqueros smoked, played the guitar or twisted a new riata of hide or 
horse-hair. When the sun gets lower they go to sleep in the shade, while the little 
horses that remain in the sunshine do the same, apparently, for they shut their eyes 
and never stir. Presently a vaquero, judging the time by the sun, gets up and yawns, 
staggers lazily towards his horse, gathers up his riata and twists it about the horn of 
his saddle — the others, awakening, arise and do the same, all yawning with eyes half 
open, looking as lazy a set as ever were seen, as, indeed, they are when on foot. 
" Hupa! Anda!" and away they go in a cloud of dust, splashing through the river, 
waving their lassoes above their heads with a wild shout and disappearing from sight 
almost as soon as they are mounted. The vaquero wants at all times to ride at a furi- 
ous gait, and the eyes of the little horses are open wide enough before they receive 
the second prod from the iron rowels of their riders' spurs. 

In the olden and palmy days of the Spanish-Mexican rigime,\}s\& summa summarum 
of the dolce farniente style of life of that age could be found at these ranches. Cattle 
roamed at will over the hills and through the valleys, one of which was slaughtered 
daily to supply the wants of the establechniento. Horses in great numbers bore the 
ranch brand, while extensiye flocks of sheep and herds of swine formed a part of their 
princely possessions. Looms and spinning wheels were brought into requisition and 
the wool grown upon the sheep was washed, carded, spun, and woven into cloth, 
beneath the shelter of the ranch houses. The hides of the cattle were tanned, and 
boots and shoes made of the leather. The seasons came and went unheeded, and 
life was to those old Spaniards a near approach to the Utopian's dream. A sum- 
mer's sun, set in a bright, ethereal empyrean, across whose rays not even a hand- 
breadth's cloud ever passed to cast its shadow on the world, showered down a golden 
flood of radiant light to bless the happy days, while the winter's rains fell in copious 
showers, causing the grass to spring into luxuriant life over all the hills and dales, 
spreading as it were an emerald tapestry on every hand, full dainty enough for tread 
of fairy feet. But the dream ended, and sad, indeed, the awakening. From the lap 
of luxury they fell into the hungry arms of poverty, dying sad and broken-hearted. 
Gone were their flocks and herds, and the land on which they had roamed. Life, 

History of Alameda County, California. 

which had been to them a hey-day of sunshine and gladness, was robbed of all that 
went to make it worth the living for, and to many of them death was a welcome 
guest, lifting the burdens and cares which had gradually settled upon their shoulders. 
It has often been asked by the uninitiated, How came it that these vast pos- 
sessions should have vanished in thin air? The question may be readily answered: 
With the " greedy, blue-eyed Saxon " came woe. He finds his way into the bosom of 
the unsuspecting family, and on the earliest opportunity temptingly exhibits a 
couple of thousands of dollars in gold coin; the wine circulates freely, with the oft- 
repeated " dueno sa/ud;" conversation becomes interesting and animated; the patri- 
arch and his household are charmed with their, new-found acquaintance, aVid artful 
and polished visitor. A loan of this couple of thousands is graciously proffered by 
this most liberal stranger; a little more wine is taken for the stomach's sake, with 
another " dueno sahid" all round; the proffered loan is as graciously accepted, more 
to oblige the accomplished guest than for any possible need or use for the ready cash; 
a promissory note, written in English and already prepared beforehand, and made 
payable one day after date, and to bear interest at the rate of seven per cent, per 
month, to be compounded monthly, together with the usual accompanying death 
pledge upon that principality of square leagues, are mirthfully executed by the con- 
fiding, simple-minded, illiterate Spaniard, as if it were a passing jest ! So much droll 
ceremony with reference to that mere trifle of money is light comedy to him, in the 
amusing programme of the day's entertainment. Time passes. Many months, and 
several years pass away. Where does that elegant gentleman keep himself? Why 
does he not come and get his money ? Surely he is a most indulgent creditor ! 
The illiterate Spaniard has no conception of the cumulative effect of interest com- 
pounded ! Month after month pass away, and that insignificant financial comedy is 
scarcely remembered. Nearly four years have rolled away, and just now a polite 
notice is received, as coming from the Court, with reference to that forgotten sub- 
ject. Of course there is nothing to be said by way of objection. It is all right. 
Why then should he trouble himself with giving any heed to it ! That little affair 
of a couple of thousand dollars can be refunded any day. "Why does not the 
gentleman come and pay us another visit ?" " Of course that little matter of money 
is ready for him any day." " He promised to come and see us again." Time passes. 
Nine years have gone round, and that paltry item of interest has regularly and steadily 
compounded one hundred and eight times, and that principal and interest have steadily 
rolled up to the immense amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, a full 
quarter of a million ! Then comes the auction sale. And there the prowling agent 
of the relentless creditor bids in those thirty-six square miles of land, without com- 
petition, for only one-half the enormous debt. And only now that happily dreaming 
Spanish family are startled and awakened as by an earthquake shock ! The business 
is complicated, and needs the deft handling of financial ability. Redemption is 
impossible. And now a judicial final process is the closing act of the drama, and 
that splendid fortune of real estate comes under the dominion of the stranger. The 
patriarch and his numerous household are exiled from their home forever, while indi- 
gence and wretched want attend them as they scatter and wander away. This, 
surely is a most shocking change to them — a solemn, grievous change. The places that 
knew them well know them no more. 

Early History and Settlement. 99 

Thus, the once material element of California society has been eradicated, to be 
replaced by other nationalities of people. Let other men debate the question whether 
such a change has been for the better ! Let the casuist render judgment whether 
such change has been effectuated by the divine rule of right ! Let the candid soul 
and heart respond to the question whether it has been done by the square of honesty 
and honor. 

The first Americans to make the overland journey to California were under the 
command of Jedediah S. Smith, of New York, a man of much energy and ability. 
In the spring of 1826 he and his party left the winter quarters of the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company for the purpose of engaging in a spring and fall hunt. In 
the course of their wanderings they struck the source of the Green River, and fol- 
lowed it down to its junction 'with the Rio Grande, where the two form the Colo- 
rado, whence he took a westerly course and approached the Sierra Nevada, crossing 
which, in search of a more favorable point to continue his explorations towards the 
ocean, he unexpectedly discovered himself to be in the great central valley of Cali- 
fornia, near its southeastern extremity, thus being the first American who had 
entered the magnificent Sacramento and the San Joaquin Vales, and was also the first 
to see or explore the rivers falling into the Bay of San Francisco. The following 
winter, that of 1826, the hunting expeditions were continued on the streams flowing 
into the Tulare Lake, on the San Joaquin and its tributaries, and also on some of 
the lower branches of the Sacramento, and at the commencement of the summer of 1827 
essayed to cross the Sierra to return, but owing to the height of the mount- 
ains and other obstacles which were encountered, was induced to leave the party in the 
valley; therefore he established his headquarters on that river near where the pres- 
ent town of Brighton, Sacramento County, now stands. While on this journey 
Smith pitched his tent, May, 1827, in the vicinity of the Mission San Jose, a pro- 
ceeding that caused some inquiries to be instituted by Father Narcisce Duran, 
then in charge of that place. To these, on May 19, 1827, Captain Smith made the 
following reply, which should have gone far towards allaying the jealousy which 
then existed between the missionaries and foreigners, whom they considered as inter- 
lopers: — ^ 

"Reverend Father: I understand, through the medium of one of your 
Christian Indians, that you are anxious to know who we are, as some of the Indians 
have been at the mission and informed you that there were certain white people in 
the country. We are Americans on our journey to the River Columbia. We came 
in at the Mission San Gabriel in January last, I went to San Diego and saw the 
General, and got a passport from him to pass on to that place. I have made 
several efforts to cross the mountains, but the snows being so deep I could not 
succeed in getting over. I returned to this place (it being the only point to kill meat) 
to wait a few weeks till the snow melts so that I can go on. The Indians here also 
being friendly, I consider it the most safe point for me to remain until such time as I 
can cross the mountains with my horses, having lost a great many in attempting to 
cross ten or fifteen days since. I am a long ways from home, and am anxious to 
get there as soon as the nature of the case will admit. Our situation is quite unpleas- 
ant, being destitute of clothing and most of the necessaries of life, wild meat being 

100 History of Alameda County, California. 

our principal subsistence. I am, Reverend Father, your strange but real friend and 
Christian brother. J. S. SMITH." 

It is needless to follow these intrepid hunters farther than this. Suffice it to say 
that having scaled the Sierra Nevada they met the severest hardships on their eastern 
slopes, and were compelled to rdtrace their steps into California, whence they fomid 
their way into the region of the Columbia River. They visited Monterey, Los 
Angeles, San Diego, and other places, thus escaping massacre with the rest of his party. 

One of the survivors of the horrible butchery on the Rio Colorado remained in 
California. He was a blacksmith by trade and obtained employment as such at the 
missions of San Gabriel and San Luis Rey. His name was Galbraith, and while in 
the mountains, previous to his advent in California, was recognized as the most fear- 
less of that brave class of men with whom he was associated. His stature was com- 
manding, and the Indians were awed by his athletic and powerful frame, while the 
display of his Herculean strength excited the surprise of all. Many were the incidents 
that occurred in California during his residence, of which he was the principal actor. 
On one occasion, while employed at the mission of San Luis Rey, he became riotous 
while under the exciting influence of aguadiente, and was warned that unless he con- 
ducted himself with greater propriety it would be necessary to confine him in the 
guard-house. This served to exasperate instead of to quiet his unruly passions. A 
corporal with two men were ordered to arrest Galbraith. On their arrival at the 
shop, they found the follower of Vulcan absorbed in anathemas, which he was pouring 
forth in rapid succession against the reverend father, soldiers, and neophytes. Having 
delivered himself, he inquired what they wanted. On the corporal's replying that he 
had been sent to conduct him to the guard-house, Galbraith seized a sledge, and swaying 
it above his head rushed upon the soldiers, who, intimidated at the gigantic size of 
the blacksmith, whose broad and deep chest was swelling with infuriated passion, horror- 
stricken fled in dismay. Vyith uplifted hammer he pursued them across the court of 
the mission, and to the guard-house in front thereof, where the affrighted corporal 
and soldiers^ arrived in hasty retreat among their comrades, closely pursued by the 
terriffic mountaineer, who, alike fearless of Spanish soldiers as he had ever been of 
Indians, drove the trembling forces — a sergeant and twelve men — to their quarters, 
where he irpprisoned them. He then hastily loaded a fine piece of artillery that stood 
in front of the quarters, with grape-shot, and directing its mouth towards the mission, 
and gathering up the arms which the soldiers in their confusion had abandoned, pre- 
pared to act as exigences might require. The priest, seeing the course events were 
taking, desired a cessation of hostilities, therefore he sent a messenger to open com- 
munications with the victor, who, from the sudden burst of passion had now cooled 
down, and the effects of the brandy being dispelled, with its removal his choler had 

It is now our purpose to introduce to the reader some of the names of the early 
settlers in this region, of whom there were only a few, indeed, it is estimated that in the 
year 1830 there were not more than a hundred foreigners in the whole of Upper Califor- 
nia. We have already mentioned John Gilroy and his comrade "Deaf Jimmy." In the 
year 1818, there arrived at Monterey another of those grand noblemen, cast in nature's 
mould, in the person of Don Antonio Sunol. His birthplace was Barcelona, in Spain, 

Early History and Settlement. 101 

but love for the French people induced him to enter their naval service and he was 
present when the First Napoleon surrendered as a prisoner before his exile to the 

island of St. Helena. In he received the grant of that region which now bears 

his name and where some of his de.scendants still reside. He died in San Jos4 March- 
1 8, 1865, having earned in life by his generosity, the respect of the entire community. 
In 1819 or 1820, it is said that James Pease, a native of the Orkney Islands, arrived 
in the country. He is still alive, and is principally to be found in Redwood City, San 
Mateo County. In 1820, our own Robert Livermore took up his abode in San Jos6, 
and afterwards became the first foreign settler in what is now Alameda County. In 
1822, Philip Doke, a block and tackle maker, who left a whaling vessel at Monterey, 
came to the rancho of Mariano Castro, near Gilroy, one of whose daughters he after- 
wards married; and about the same time a Dane named Mathew Fellom, landed 
from a whaler at either Bodega or Fort Ross, traversed the intervening space and 
located near Gilroy. He died in 1873. In the year 1828 there was an Englishman 
named William Willis living in the Pueblo de San Jos^. In or about 1830, John 
Burton, who was Alcalde of San Jos6 during the occupation immediately following the 
cessation of hostilities between the United States and Mexico, came, and married a 
daughter of the land in the following year. In 1833, during the fall, Harry Bee came 
to San Jos^ from Monterey, where he had arrived in company with Doctor Douglass, 
a naturalist, in October, 1827. He was born in the parish of Westminster, London, 
England, and is still a resident of San ]os6. In that same year there also came with 
the Hijas colonization expedition, William Gulnac, a native of Hudson City, New 
York, where he was born, August 4, 1801. In the year 1819 he sailed around Cape 
Horn and settled in Lower California, where he married Maria Isabel de Cassina in 
1825. He died July 12, 185 1, having been maj/ordomo o{ the Mission San Jos^ for 
a considerable period. In this year, too, came James Alexander Forbes, afterwards 
Vice-Consul for Great Britain, who died in Oakland in May, 1881; and James Weekes, 
who served as Alcade of San Jos^ in 1847, who also died in May, 1881, at the residence 
of his friend Harry Bee in San Josd In 1833 there were living at the rancho of 
Gilroy, John Milligan, and a watchmaker whose name is unknown, while at the Pueblo 
de San Josd were Nicolas Dodero, an Italian; John Price, an American; William 
Smith, better known as " Bill the Sawyer " ; George Ferguson, still a resident of May- 
iield, Santa Clara County; Thomas Pepper, a/ms Pimiento; William Welch,. a Scotch- 
man by birth, who obtaineid in 1 844 a grant of three square leagues of land, called 
Las Juntas, on which a portion of Martinez, the County Seat of Contra Costa County 
is built; " Blind Tom " an English sailor; Charles Brown, who came to the country it 
is thought in. 1 829, and died in San Francisco in March, 1883; an Irish dragoon, a 
deserter from the British army; a man who went by the name of " Moche Dan " ; 
Thomas Brown and William Daily. It is believed that by this time, or shortly after- 
wards, John Coppinger had established himself in the Pulgas Redwoods, near Wood- 
side, San Mateo County. These are interesting facts which we may be pardoned 
for producing. 

In the year 1835, thirty citizens, styling themselves as of the Ranches of the North, 
that is of districts situated to the north of the Bay of San Francisco, preserited the 
following petitions to the Governor, which are produced as being a portion of history 

102 History of Alameda County, California. 

connected with Alameda County. It is an expression of the desire on their part to 
belong to the jurisdiction of San Jos^ rather than that of San Francisco, and has been 
quaintly described as the " first of our county seat quarrels." 

To His Excellency the Governor: — 

" The residents of the adjoining ranchos of the north, now belonging to the juris- 
diction of the port of San Francisco, with due respect to your Excellency, repre- 
sent: That finding great detriment, and feeling the evils under which they labor 
from belonging to this jurisdiction, whereby they are obliged to represent to your 
Excellency that it causes an entire abandoning of their families for a year by those 
who attend the judiciary functions and are obliged to cross the bay. Truthfully 
speaking, to be obliged to go to the port by land, we are under the necessity of travel- 
ing forty leagues, going and coming back; and to go by sea we are exposed to the 
danger of being wrecked. By abandoning our families, as above stated, it is evident 
that they must remain without protection against the influences of malevolent persons; 
they are also exposed to detention and loss of labor and property, and injury by 
animals. There is no lodging to be had in that port, where, for a year, an ayunta- 
miento is likely to detain them, and, should they take their families, incurring heavy 
expenses for their transportation and necessary provisioning for the term of their 
engagement, there is no accommodation for them. Wherefore, in view of these facts, 
they pray your Excellency to be pleased to allow them to belong to the jurisdiction 
of the town of San Jos^ and recognize a commission of justice that will correspond 
with the said San Jos^ as capital for the people in this vicinity; wherefore, we humbly 
pray your Excellency to favor the parties interested by acceding to their wishes. 
Antonio Maria Peralta, Ygnacio Feralta, 

Joaquin Ysidro Castro, Bruno Valencia, 

Blas Narbols. Joaq'n Moraga, 

Z. Blas Angelino, Ramon Fovero, 

Sannago Mesa, Josfi Duarte, 

Juan Josfi Castro, Francisco Pacheco, 

Candelario Valencia, Bartolo Pacheco, 

JosjS Peralta, Mariano Castro, 

Fernando Feles, Felipe Briones, 

Antonio Amejai, Julian Veles, v 

Juan Bernal, Rafael Veles, 

Marcano Castro, Francisco Soto, 

Antonio Ygerce, Franco Amejo. 

" San Antonio, San Pablo, and the adjacent ranchos north. May jo, i8jj." 

Will the reader permit us to ask him to dwell upon the changes rung by time 
since that date. Seven and forty years ago the bay was indeed a veritable " sea of 
trouble " to those rancheros; it is now crossed in half the number of minutes that 
years have elapsed. Where there were no accommodations, the finest and best con- 
ducted hotels in the world have sprung up as if by magic, while travel by land has 
been rendered secure, inexpensive, comfortable, and expeditious. Such a wonderful 
transformation is hard to realize, but the facts speak for themselves. 

Early History and Settlement. 103 

In due course of time the document was received at Monterey. Let us follow it: 
Under date August I2,'i835, it was indorsed: " Let it be kept to be reported to the 
deputation." September ist, it was docketed: "On this day the same was reported 
and referred' to the Committee on Government," who, September 5th, reported as fol- 
lows: — • 

" Most Excellent Sir : We, the Committee on Government, being required 
to report upon the memorial, with the parties subscribed thereto, made to the Politi- 
cal Chief on the 30th day of May last, find that the said memorial is grounded upon 
good reasons and public convenience; but as the subject should be considered upon 
proper reports for a due determination, the Committee is of opinion that the reports 
of the Ayuntamientos of the towns of San Jos6 and San Francisco are required for 
that purpose. Therefore, the Committee offers, for the deliberation of the most 
Excellent Deputation, the following propositions: ist — that this expedienteh^ referred 
to the Ayuntamientos of the towns of San Jose and San Francisco, in order that 
they report upon said memorial. 2d — That after which, the same be returned for 
determination. " Man'l Jimeno, 

" Salvio Pacheco." 

''Monterey, September 10, 1835. — At the session of this day the most Exalted 
Deputation has approved the two propositions made in the report of the Committee 
on Government. " Manuel Jimeno." 

" Monterey, September 28, 1835. — Let this ^;t/^^«W«/^ be forwarded to the Ayun- 
tamiento of the town {-pueblo) of San Jos6 Guadalupe, for a report upon the prayer 
of the foregoing memorial, and to that of San Francisco for the like The 
Ayuntamiento of the latter town will, moreover, give a list of the residents of the 
vicinity of the same. Don Jos^ Castro, senior member of the most Excellent Terri- 
torial Deputa.tion, and Superior Political Chief of Upper California, thus commanded, 
decreed, and signed this, which I attest. "Jos^ C ASTRO. 

"Fran'co del Calsello Negrete, Sec'y. 

" In pursuance of the foregoing Supreme Order of Your Excellency, this Ayun- 
tamiento begs to state the following: That with regard to the residents on the north- 
ern vicinity, now under the jurisdiction of San Francisco, and who in their memorial 
prayed to be exempted from belonging to that jurisdiction', having indispensably to 
cross the bay, or to travel upwards of forty leagues; while on half their way they can 
come to this town {pueblo), under the jurisdiction of which they formerly were, which 
•was more suitable and less inconvenient to them; this Ayuntamiento thinks that their 
prayer should be granted, if it is so found right. " Antonio Ma. Pico, 

"Jos6 Berryessa, Secretary. "Ignacio Martinez. 

" Town of San Jose Guadalupe, November ^, i8jj." 

In a response, or rather a remonstrance, the complaints of the petitioners were 
treated as frivolous by the Ayuntamiento of San Francisco, who rebuked them for 
their want of patriotism; and were asked if their service of having traveled a paltry 
forty leagues could bear the slightest comparison with those of others who had jour- 
neyed hundreds of leagues in the interior, and some who had gone on public service 
from San Francisco to San Diego. 

104. History of Alameda County, California. 

With much indignation it asks: " Which are those Peraltas and Castros that 
have been wrecked on attending to their business affairs every time that any vessel 
comes to anchor in the Bay of Verba Buena ?" This document, which was signed 
by FkANClSCO DE Hard, and dated. Port of San Francisco, December 20, 1835, 
utterly repudiates that any such catastrophe had ever occurred, denies the lack 
of accommodatibn at the presidio, and strenuously urges the jurisdiction of San 

We now desire to note the arrival of another, and well-known pioneer, to the 
Contra Costa, as the whole of this region was then called. 

Doctor John Marsh left the United States in the year 1835, proceeded to New 
Mexico, and after traversing a portion of Old Mexico, crossed the Colorado at its 
junction with the Gila, and entered Southern California. He afterwards traveled 
northward, and in 1837 purchased the Los Meganos Rancho, which has since been 
popularly known as the Marsh Grant. This tract of land, which he describes as 
being about ten miles by twelve in extent, he designated the Farm of Pulpunes, 
whence, in 1846, he indited a letter to Hon. Lewis Cass, which was first published in 
1866 by the Contra Costa Gazette, to whose columns we refer the reader. In that 
communication he informs Mr. Cass that it had been usual to estimate the popula- 
tion of California at five thousand persons of Spanish descent, and twenty thousand 
Indians. This is declared to be an error, the actual number being, in round numbers, 
seven thousand Spaniards, ten thousand civilized or domesticated Indians, and about 
seven hundred Americans, one hundred English, Irish, and Scotch, with about a like 
number of French, Germans, and Italians. The Doctor further remarks: "Within 
the territorial limits of Upper California, taking the parallel of forty-two degrees for 
the northern and the Colorado River for the southeastern boundary, are an immense 
number of wild, naked, brute Indians. The number of course can only be conjec- 
tured. They probably exceed a million, and may perhaps amount to double that 
number. The far-famed missions of California no longer exist. They have nearly 
all been broken up, and the lands apportioned out into farms. They were certainly 
munificent ecclesiastical baronies, and although their existence was quite incompati- 
ble with the general prosperity of the country, it seems almost a pity to see their down- 
fall. The immense piles of buildings and beautiful vineyards and orchards are all 
that remain, with the exception of two in the southern part of the territory, which still 
retain a small remnant of their former prosperity." He goes on to inform his friend of 
of the salubrity of California's climate; its topographical beauties and advantages; its 
agricultural possibilities; its then commerce; its government, and the manners and 
customs of the Indians, all a valuable addition to the early history of California. 

The Doctor established his residence in a small adobe building, not far from 
where he built the famous " Stone House," where he lived a most solitary life, having 
but few neighbors, whose homes averaged a distance from his of from twelve to forty 

In the first five years of the decade commencing with 1840 there began to settle 
in the vast California valleys that intrepid band of pioneers who, having scaled the 
Sierra Nevada, with their wagons, trains, and cattle, began the civilizing influences of 
progress on the Pacific Coast. Many of them had left their homes in the Atlantic 

Early History and Settlement. 105 

and Southern States with the avowed intention of proceeding direct to Oregon. 
On arrival at Fort Hall, however, they heard glowing accounts of the salubrity of 
California's climate and the fertility of its soil; they, therefore, turned their heads 
southward and steered for the wished-for haven. At length, after many days of 
toil and anxiety, fatigued and footsore, the promised land was gained. And what 
was it like ? The country, in what valley soever we wot, was an interminable grain 
field; mile upon mile, and acre after acre, wild oats grew in marvelous profusion, 
in many places to a prodigious height — one great, glorious green of wild, waving 
grain — high over head of the wayfarer on foot, and shoulder high with the eques- 
trian; wild flowers of every prismatic shade charmed the eye, while they vied with 
each other in the gorgeousness of their colors, and blended into dazzling splendor. 
One breath of wind and the wide emerald expanse rippled itself into space, while, 
with a heavier breeze, came a swell whose rolling waves beat agains't the mountain 
sides, and, being hurled back, were lost in the far-away horizon; shadow pursued 
shadow in one long merry chase. The air was filled with the hum of bees, the chirrup 
of birds and an overpowering fragrance from the various plants weighted the air. The 
hill-sides, overrun as they were with a dense mass of tangled jungle, were hard to pen- 
etrate, while, in some portions, the deep, dark green of the forest trees lent relief to 
the eye. The almost boundless range wa-i intersected throughout with divergent 
trails, whereby the traveler moved from point to point, progress being, as it were, in 
darkness, on actount of the height of the oats on either side, and rendered dan- 
gerous in the valleys by the bands of untamed cattle sprung from the stock intro- 
duced by the mission fathers. These found food and shelter on the plains during 
the night; at dawn they repaired to the higher foot-hills to chew the cud and bask 
in the sunshine. At every yard coyotes sprang from beneath the feet of the voyageur. 
The hissing. of snakes, the frightened rush of lizzards, all tended to heighten the 
sense of danger, while the flight of quail and other birds, the nimble run of the rab- 
bit, and the stampede of antelope, which, abounded in thousands, added to the charm, 
causing him, be he whosoever he may, pedestrian or equestrian, to feel the utter 
insignificance of man, the " noblest work of God." 

The overland journey at the period of which we write was one more of dis- 
covery than certainty, the only well-ascertained points being then the Great Salt 
Lake and Humboldt River, known as St. Mary's. Of the two parties that left Inde- 
pendence, Missouri, May 6, 1841, the first was under the leadership of Robert H. 
Thomes, of Tehama, and traveled by St. Mary's, Ogden, and the Humboldt River; 
the second came by Santa F^ and the middle route to Los Angeles, and had as its 
chief William Workman, who died in Los Angeles in 1876. In the former, which 
numbered about thirty men, we find the names of Josiah Belden, Charles M. Weber 
(who died in Stockton in May, 1881), John Bidwell, and Grove C. Cook. In the year 
1843 another party crossed the plains, among them being the late Major S.J. Hensley 
(who died in 1865), Julius Martin, Thomas J. Shadden, and Winston Bennett, the 
last three of whom brought their wives, the first foreign ladies to settle in the district 
comprised in the counties of Contra Costa, Alameda, and Santa Clara. In 1844 the 
Murphys came to the Santa Clara Valley; 'in 184S William M. Mendenhall, now a 
resident of Livermore; and in 1846 John M. Horner and Hon. Elam Brown, of Con- 

106 History of Alameda County, California. 

tra Costa, who was a delegate to the Convention which framed the first State Consti- 
tution, in September, 1849, and is one of the few surviving members of the " Legisla- 
ture of a Thousand Drinks " — the first of the State of California, which had its session 
in San Jose. 

No history of a section of the Pacific Coast would be complete without some 
relation of the tragic fate of Donner's party; we have, therefore, taken the liberty of 
reproducing, from Tuthill's " History of California," the following graphic description 
of their sufferings: — * 

"Of the overland emigration to California in 1846, about eighty wagons took 
a new route from Fort Bridger around the south end of Great Salt Lake. The pio- 
neers of the party arrived in good season over the mountains; but Mr. Reed's and 
Mr. Donner's companies opened a new route through the desert, lost a month's time 
by their explorations, and reached the foot of the Truckee Pass, in the Sierra Nevada, 
on the 31st of October, instead of the 1st, as they had intended. The snow began to 
fall on the mountains two or three weeks earlier than usual that year, and was already 
so piled up in the pass that they could not proceed. They attempted it repeatedly, 
but were as often forced to return. One party built their cabins near the Truckee 
Lake, killed their cattle and went into winter quarters. The other (Donner's) party 
still believing that they could thread the pass, so failed to build their cabins before 
more snow came and buried their cattle alive. Of course they were soon utterly des- 
titute of food, for they could not tell where the cattle were buried, and there was no 
hope of game on a desert so piled with snow that nothing without wings could move. 
The number of these who were thus storm-stayed, at the very threshold of the land 
whose winters are one long spring, was eighty, of whom thirty were females, and 
several children. The Mr. Donner, who had charge of one company, was an Illi- 
noisian, sixty years of age, a man of high respectability and abundant means. 
His wife was a woman of education and refinement and much younger than he. 

" During November it snowed thirteen days; during December and January, eight 
days each. Much of the time the tops of the cabins were below the snow level. 

" It was six weeks after the halt was made that a party of fifteen, including 
five women, and two Indians who acted as guides, set out on snow-shoes to cross 
the mountains, and give notice to the people of the California settlements of the 
condition of their friends. At first the snow was so light and feathery that even 
in snow-shoes they sank nearly a foot at every step. On the second day they crossed 
the ' divide,' finding the snow at the summit twelve feet deep. Pushing forward with 
the courage of despair, they made from four to eight miles a day. 

"Within a week they got entirely out of provisions, and three of them, suc- 
cumbing to cold, weariness, and starvation, had died. Then a heavy snow-storm came 
on, which compelled them to lie still, buried between their blankets under the snow, 
for thirty-six hours. By the evening of the tenth day three more had died, and 
the living had been four days without food. The horrid alternative was accepted — 
they took the flesh from the bones of their dead, remained in camp two days to 
dry it, and then pushed on. 

"On New Year's, the sixteenth day since leaving Truckee Lake, they were 
toiling up a steep mountain. Their feet were frozen. Every step was marked with 

Early History and Settlement. 107 

blood. On the second of January their food again gave out. On the third they had 
nothing to eat but the strings of their snow-shoes. On the fourth the Indians eloped, 
justly suspicious that they might be sacrificed for food. On the fifth they shot a 
deer, and on that day one of their number died. Soon after three others died, and 
every death now eked out the existence of the survivors. On the seventh all gave 
out, and concluded their wanderings useless, except one. He, guided by two stray 
friendly Indians, dragged himself on till he reached a settlement on Bear River. By 
midnight the settlers had found and were treating with all Christian kindness what 
remained of the little company that, after more than a month of the most terrible 
sufferings, had that morning halted to die. 

" The story that there were emigrants perishing on the bther side of the snowy bar- 
rier ran swiftly down the Sacramento Valley to New Helvetia, and Captain Sutter, at 
his own expense, fitted out an expedition of men and of mules, laden with pro- 
visions, to cross the mountains and relieve them. It ran on to San Francisco, and 
the people, rallying in public meeting, raised fifteen hundred dollars and with it 
fitted out another expedition. The naval commandant of the port fitted out still 

"The first of the relief parties reached Truckee Lake on" the 19th of Feb- 
ruary. Ten of the people in the nearest camp were dead. For four weeks those 
who were still alive had fed on bullock's hides. At Donner's camp they had but one 
hide remaining. The visitors left a small supply of provisions with the twenty-nine 
whom they could not take with them, and started back with the remainder. Four of 
the children they carried on their backs. 

" Another of the relief parties reached Truckee Lake on the first of March. They 
immediately started back with seventeen of the sufferers; but, a heavy snow-storm 
overtaking them,- they left all, except three of the children, on the road. Another 
party went after those who were left on the way; found three of them dead, and the 
rest sustaining life by feeding on the flesh of the dead. 

" The last relief party reached Donner's camp late in April, when the snows had 
melted so much that the earth appeared in spots. The main cabin was empty, but 
some miles distant they found the last survivor of all lying on the cabin-flojr smoking 
his pipe. He was ferocious in aspect, savage and repulsive in manner. His camp- 
kettle was over the fire, and in it his meal of human flesh preparing. The stripped 
bones of his fellow-sufferers lay around him. He refused to return with the party, 
and only consented when he saw there was no escape. 

" Mrs. Donner was the last to die. Her husband's body, carefully laid out 
and wrapped in a sheet, was found at his tent. Circumstances led to the suspi- 
cion that the survivor had killed Mrs. Donner for her flesh and her money, and 
when he was threatened with hanging and the rope tightened around his neck, he 
produced over five hundred dollars in gold, which, probably, he had appropriated 
from her store." 

Apropos to this dreary story of suffering, we conclude it by the narrative of a 
prophetic dream of George Yount, attended, as it was, with such marvelous results. 

At this time (the winter of 1846-47), while residing in Napa County, of which 
he was the pioneer settler, he dreamt that a party of immigrants were snow-bound in 

108 History of Alameda County, California. 

the Sierra Nevada, high up in the mountains, where they were suffering the most dis- 
tressing privations from cold and want of food. The locality where his dream had 
placed these unhappy mortals he had never visited, yet so clear was his vision that he 
described the sheet of water surrounded by lofty peaks, deep-covered with snow, 
while on every hand towering pine trees reared their heads far above the limitless 
waste. In his sleep he saw the hungry human beings ravenously tear the flesh from 
the bones of their fellow-creatures, slain to satisfy their craving appetites, in the midst 
of a weird and gloomy desolation. He dreamed his dream on three successive nights, 
after which he related it to others, among whom were a few who had been on hunting 
expeditions in the Sierras. These wished for a precise description of the scene fore- 
shadowed to him. They recognized the Truckee Lake. On the strength of this 
recognition Mr. Yount fitted out a search expedition, and with these men as guides, 
went to the place indicated, and, prodigious to relate, was one of the successful reliev- 
ing bands to reach the ill-fated Donner party. 

We now come to the eventful year of the discovery of gold, but in introducing 
the reader to the circumstances attending the finding of the precious metal, we would 
first desire to put him in possession of the fact, that the prevailing opinion that the 
first discovery of gold in California was that made at Sutter's Mill is an erroneous one, 
and must therefore give way to the evidence furnished by Mr. Able Stearns of its 
earlier discovery by some six years, in the vicinity of Los Angeles. Mr. Stearns has 
now been a resident of California nearly, if not quite, forty years, and is widely known, 
as a man of unquestionable veracity. The following letter, stating some of the facts- 
relating to the early discovery of gold, was furnished in response to a request of the 
Secretary of the California Pioneers: — 

"Los ANGELES, July 8, 1 867. 

" Luis R. Lull, Secretary of the Society of California Pioneers, San Fran- 
cisco — Sir: On my arrival here from San Francisco, some days since, I received your 
letter of June 3d, last past, requesting the certificate of the assay of gold .sent by me 
to the mint at Philadelphia in 1842. I find by referring to my old account books 
that November 22, 1842, I sent by Alfred Robinson (who returned from California to 
the States by way of Mexico) twenty ounces California weight (eighteen and three- 
fourths' ounces mint weight) of placer gold, to be forwarded by him to the United 
States Mint at Philadelphia, for assay. 

"In his letter to me, dated August 6, 1843, you will find a copy from the Mint 
assay of the gold, which letter I herewith inclose to you to be placed in the archives- 
of the society. 

" The Placer Mines, from which this gold was taken, were first discovered by- 
Francisco Lopez, a native of California, in the month of March, 1842, at a place 
called San Francisquito, about thirty-five miles northwest from this city (Los Angeles). 

" The circumstances of the discovery by Lopez, as related by him, are as follows: 
Lopez, with a 'companion, was out in search of some stray horses, and about mid- 
day they stopped under some trees and tied their horses out to feed, they resting 
under the shade, when Lopez, with his sheath-knife, dug up some wild onions, and in 
the dirt discovered a piece of gold, and searching further found some more. He 
brought these to town and showed them to his friends, who at once declared there 

Early History and Settlement. 109 

must be a placer of gold. This news being circulated, numbers of the citizens went 
to the place and comn^enced prospecting in the neighborhood and found it to be a 
fact that there was a placer of gold. After being satisfied most persons returned; 
some remained, particularly Sonorenses (Sonorians), who were accustomed to work in 
placers. They met with good success. 

" From this time the placers were worked with more or less success, and prin- 
cipally by Sonorenses (Sonorians), until the latter part of 1846, when most of the 
Sonorenses, left with Captain Flores for Sonora. 

"While worked there were some six or eight thousand dollars taken out per 
annum. Very respectfully yours, Abel Stearns." 

It is also a fact fully established that the existence of gold was known to the 
aborigines long prior even to this date. Let us turn however, to that epoch which has 
earned for California the name of the Golden State. 

Who does not think of '48 with feelings almost akin to inspiration ? 

The year 1848 is one wherein was reached the' nearest attainment of the discovery 
of the philosopher's stone which it has been the lot of Christendom to witness. On Jan- 
uary 19th, gold was discovered at Coloma, on the American River, and the most unbe- 
lieving and cold-blooded were, by the middle of spring, irretrievably bound in its fascina- 
ting meshes. The wonder is the discovery was not made earlier. Immigrants, settlers, 
hunters, practical miners, scientific exploring parties had camped on, settled in, hunted 
through, dug in and ransacked the region, yet never found it; the discovery was 
entirely accidental. Franklin Tuthill, in his " History of California," tells the story 
in these words: " Captain Sutter had contracted with James W. Marshall in Septem- 
ber, 1847, for the construction of a saw-mill in Coloma. In the course of the winter a 
dam and race were made, but _when the water was let in the tail-race was too narrow. 
To widen and deepen it, Marshall let in a strong current of water directly to the race, 
which bore a large body of mud and gravel to the foot. 

"On the 19th of January, 1848, Marshall observed some glittering particles in 
the race, which he was curious enough to examine. He called five carpenters on the 
mill- to see them; but though they talked over the possibility of its being gold, the 
vision did not inflame them. Peter L. Weimar claims that he was with Marshall when 
the first piece of 'yellow stuff' was picked up. It was a pebble weighing six penny- 
weights and eleven grains. Marshall gave it to Mrs. Weimar, and asked her to boil 
it in saleratus water and see what came of it. As she was making soap at the time, 
she pitched it into the soap kettle. About twenty-four hours afterward it was fished 
out and found all the brighter for its boiling. 

" Marshall, two or three weeks later, took the specimens below and gave them to 
Sutter to have them tested. Before Sutter had quite satisfied himself as to their 
nature, he' went up to the mill, and, with Marshall, made a treaty with the Indians, 
buying of them their titles to the region round about, for a certain amount of goods. 
There was an efifort made to keep the secret inside the little circle that knew it, but it 
soon leaked out. They had many misgivings and much discussion whether they were 
not making themselves ridiculous; yet by common consent all began to hunt, though 
with no great spirit, for the 'yellow stuff' that might prove such a prize. 

110 History of Alameda County, California. 


" In February, one of the party went to Yerba Buena, taking some of the dust 
with him. Fortunately he stumbled upon Isaac Humphrey, an old Georgian gold 
miner, who, at the first look at the specimens, said they were gold, and the diggings 
must be rich. Humphrey tried to induce some of his friends to go up with him to 
the mill, but they thought it a crazy expedition, and left him to go alone. He reached 
there on the 7th of March. A few were hunting for gold, but rather lazily, and the 
work on the mill went on as usual. Next day he began ' prospecting,' and soon satis- 
fied himself that he had struck a rich placer. He made a rocker, and then commenced 
work in earnest. 

" A few days later, a Frenchman, Baptiste, formerly a miner in Mexico, left the 
lumber he was sawing for Sutter at Weber's, ten miles east of Coloma, and came to 
the mill. He agreed with Humphrey that the region was rich, and, like him, took to 
the pan and rocker. These two men were the competent, practical teachers of the 
crowd that flocked in to see how they did it. The lesson was easy, the process simple. 
An hour's observation fitted the least experienced for working to advantage." 

Slowly and surely, however, did these discoveries creep into the minds of those at 
home and abroad; the whole civilized world was set agog with the startling news from 
the shores of the Pacific. Young and old were seized with the California fever; high 
and low, rich and poor, were infected by it; the prospect was altogether too gorgeous 
to contemplate. Why, they could actually pick up a fortune for the seeking itl 
Positive affluence was within the grasp of the weakest; the very coast was shining with 
the bright metal, which could be obtained by picking it out with a knife. 

Says Tuthill: " Before such considerations as these, the conservatism of the most 
stable bent. Men of small means, whose tastes inclined them to keep out of all 
hazardous schemes and uncertain enterprises, thought they saw duty beckoning them ■ 
around the Horn, or across the plains. In many a family circle, where nothing but 
the strictest economy could make the two ends of the year meet, there were long and 
anxious consultations, which resulted in selling off a piece of the hornestead or the 
woodland, or the choicest of the stock, to fit out one sturdy representative to make a 
fortune for the family. Hundreds of farms were mortgaged to buy tickets for the 
land of gold. Some insured their lives and pledged their policies for an outfit. .The 
wild boy was packed off hopefully. The black sheep of the flock was dismissed with 
a blessing, and the forlorn hope that, with a change of skies, there might be a change 
of manners. The stay of the happy household said, ' Good-bye, but only for a year 
or two,' to his charge. Unhappy husbands availed themselves cheerfully of this cheap 
and reputable method of divorce, trusting to time to mend or mar matters in their 
absence. Here was a chance to begin life anew. Whoever had begun it ba41y, or 
made slow headway on the right course, might start again in a region where fortune 
had not learned to coquette with and dupe her wooers. 

" The adventurers generally formed companies, expecting to go overland or by- 
sea to the mines, and to dissolve partnership only after a first trial of luck, together 
in the 'diggings.' In the Eastern and Middle States they would buy up an old whal- 
ing ship, just ready to be condemned to the wreckers, put in a cargo of such stuff as 
they must need themselves, and provisions, tools, or goods that must be sure to bring 
returns enough to make the venture profitable. Of course, the whole fleet rushing 

Early History and Settlement. ill 

together through the Golden Gate, made most of these ventures profitless, even when 
the guess was happy as to the kind of supplies needed by the Californians. It can 
hardly be believed what sieves of ships started, and how many of them actually made 
the voyage. Little river-steamers, that had scarcely tasted salt-water before, were fitted 
out to thread the Straits of Magellan, and these were welcomed to the bays and rivers 
of California, whose waters some of them plowed and vexed busily for years after- 

" Then steamers, as well as all manner of sailing vessels, began to be aidvertised to 
run to the Isthmus; and they generally went crowded to excess with passengers, some 
of whom were fortunate enough, after the toilsome ascent pf the Chagres River, and 
the descent-either on mules or on foot to Panama, not to be detained more than a 
month waiting for craft that had rounded the Horn, and by which they were ticketed 
to proceed to San Francisco. But hundreds broke down under the horrors of the 
voyage in the steerage; contracted on the Isthmus the low typhoid fevers incident to 
tropical marshy regions, and died. 

"The overland emigrants, unless they came too late in the season to the Sierras, 
seldom suffered as much, as they had no great variation of climate on their route. 
They had this advantage too, that the mines lay at the end of their long road; while 
the sea-faring, when they landed, had still a weary journey before them. Few tarried 
longer at San Francisco than was necessary to learn how utterly useless were the 
patent mining contrivances they had brought, and to replace them with pick and 
shovel, pan and cradle. If any one found himself destitute of funds to go farther, 
there was work enough to raise them by. Labor was honorable; and the daintiest 
dandy, if he were honest, could not resist the temptation to work where wages were 
high, pay so prompt, and employers so flush. 

" There were not lacking in San Francisco, grumblers who had tried the mines 
and satisfied themselves that it cost a dollar's worth of sweat and time, and living 
exclusively on bacon, beans, and ' slap-jacks,' to pick a dollar's worth of gold out of 
rock, or river-bed, or dry ground; but they confessed that the good luck which they 
never enjoyed, abode with others. Then the display of dust, slugs, and bars of gold 
in the public gambling places; the sight of men arriving every day freighted with 
belts full, which they parted with so- freely, as men only can when they have got it 
easily; the testimony of the miniature rocks; the solid nuggets brought down from 
above every few days, whose size and value rumor multiplied according to the number 
of her tongues; the talk, day and night, unceasingly and exclusively, 'gold, easy to 
get and hard to hold,' inflamed all new-comers with the desire to hurry on and share 
the chances. They chafed at the necessary detentions; they nervously feared that all 
would be gone before they should arrive. 

" The prevalent impression was that the placers would give out in a year or two. 
Then it behooved him who expected to gain much, to be among the earliest on the 
ground; When experiment was so fresh in the field, one theory was about as good 
as another. An hypothesis that lured men perpetually further up the gorges of the 
foot-hills, and to explore the canons of the mountains, was this: that the gold which 
had been found in the beds of rivers, or in gulches through which streams once ran, 
must have been washed down from the places of original deposit further up the mount- 

112 History of Alameda County, California. 

ains. The higher up the gold-hunter went, the nearer he approached the source ot 

" To reach the mines from San Francisco, the course lay up San Pablo and Suisun 
Bays, and the Sacramento — not then, as now, a yellow, muddy stream, but a river 
pellucid and deep — to the landing for Sutter's Fort; and they who made the voyage 
in sailing vessels thought Mount Diablo significantly named, so long it kept their 
company and swung its shadows over their path. From Sutter's the most common 
route was across the broad, fertile valley to the foot-hills, and up the American or 
some one of its tributaries; or, ascending the Sacramento to the Feather and the 
Yuba, the company staked off a claim, pitched its tent or constructed a cabin, and set 
up its rocker, or began to oust the river from a portion of its bed. Good luck might 
hold the impatient adventurers for a whole season on one bar; bad luck scattered 
them always farther up. ***** 

" Roads sought the mining camps, which did not stop to study roads. Traders 
came in to supply the camps, and not very fast, but still to some extent; mechanics 
and farmers to supply both traders and miners. So, as if by magic, within a year or 
two after the rush began, the map of the country was written thick with the names of 

" Some of these were the nuclei of towns that now flourish and promise to con- 
tinue as long as the State is peopled. Others, in districts where the placers were 
soon exhausted, were deserted almost as hastily as they were begun, and now no 
traces remain of them except the short chimney-stack, the broken surface of the 
ground, heaps of cobble-stones, rotten, half-buried sluice-boxes, empty whisky bottles, 
scattered playing c^irds and rusty cans. 

"The 'Fall of '49 and Spring of '50,' is the era of California history which the 
pioneer always speaks of with warmth. It was the free and easy age when everybody 
was flush, and fortunes, if not in the palm, were only just beyond the grasp of all. 
Men lived chiefly in tents, or in cabins scarcely more durable, and behaved themselves 
like a generation of bachelors. The family was beyond the mountains; the restraints 
of society had not yet arrived. Men threw off the masks they had lived behind, and 
appeared out in their true character. A few did not discharge the consciences and 
convictions they had brought with them. More rollicked in a perfect freedom from 
those bonds which good men cheerfully assume in settled society for the good of the 
greater number. Some afterwards resumed their temperate and steady habits, but 
hosts were wrecked before the period of their license expired. 

" Very rarely did men on their arrival in the country begin to work at their old 
trade or profession. To the mines first. If fortune favored, they soon quit for more 
congenial employments. If she frowned, they might depart disgusted, if they were 
able; but oftener, from sheer inability to leave the business, they kept on, drifting from 
bar to bar, living fast, reckless, improvident, half-civilized' lives; comparatively rich 
to-day, poor to-riiorrow; tormented with rheumatisms and agues, rememberino- dimly 
the joys of the old homestead; nearly weaned from the friends at home, who, because 
they were never heard from, soon became like dead men in their memory; seeing 
little of women, and nothing of churches; self-reliant, yet satisfied that there was 
nowhere any 'show' for them; full of enterprise in the direct line of their business 

Ify- m^i 

Early History and Settlement. 113 

and utterly lost on the threshold of any other; genial companions, morbidly craving 
after newspapers; good fellows, but short-lived." 

Such was the maelstrom which dragged all into its vortex now thirty and more 
years ago! Almost the entire generation of pioneer miners who remained in that 
business have passed away, and the survivors feel like men who are lost, and old 
before their time, among, the new-comers, who may be just as old, but lack their 
long, strange chapter of adventures. 

We will now attempt to give the names of those gentlemen who settled in Ala- 
meda, for, with the discovery of gold, the whole world turned towards the mines to 
seek their fortunes, and as health gave way from exposure there, or fatigue caused 
the wish for a less wearying life to arise, they hied themselves unto the valleys whose 
fertility was now fully established, there to make homes and till farms, finer than 
which no country in the world* can claim. Of course many names are omitted, 
not from any fault on our part, but rather from the fact that treacherous memory 
remembers them not; the dates are not so much, those of their actual settlement, but 
as they were found by the parties with whom we have conversed. 

1847. — Perry Morrison, William Morrison, Earl Marshall. 

1848. — Simeon Stivers. 

1849. — Peter T. Wilson, John F. Frese, George May, E. L. Beard, William P. 
Abbey, Thomas Goodale (or Goodall), Thomas W. Mulford, A. R. Biggs, Moses 

Weeks, E. M. Smith, W. C. Smith, Steve Smith, Robert Smith, Solomon, Socrates 

Huff, C. Winton, and two Frenchmen on the Encinal named De Pachier and .Le 

1850. — N. Greene Patterson, Jacob Patterson, Edson Adams, E. R. Carpentier, 
A. J. Moon, A. Marier, Robert S. Farrelly, William Tyson, Robert F. Patton,. Will- 
iam Patton, Edward Patton, Calvin Valpey, Moses Chase, Ephraim Dyer, Gideon 
Aughinbaugh, H; C. Smith, W. W. Chipman, John L. Beard, H. G. Ellsworth, Ed. 

Niehaus, Coombs, Joseph Nicholls, Origin Mdwry and two brothers, John Neil, 

Zachariah Cheney, Charles Hanyon, L. P. Gates, John L. Wilson, John Threlfall, 

John Sweetser, Captain Bond, Chamberlin, James Hawley, Jeremiah Fallon, 

Captain Roberts, Michael Murray. 

185 1. — John W. Kottinger, Robert Blacow, Antonio Fonte, William Hayes, 

William C. Blackwood, Hiram Davis, Augustus Johnson, James B. Larue, 

Parker, M. Segrist, Dean, John J. Riser, Fuller and son, George W. Pat- 
terson, Dr. B. F. Hibbard, George W. Bond, Parfait, Capt. S. Larkin, Joshua 

Wayhab, William M. Liston, Lewis C. Smith, Christian P.' Hansen, Henry Smith, 
A. M. Church, Capt. John Chisholm, Doctor Buckland, Captain Richardson, Captain 

Nowell, John Wilson, Edward Carroll, Wright, Thomas McLaughlin, Charles 

Ray, Strickland, "The Scotch Boys," John Johnson. 

1852. — James Beazell, Charles Hadsell, Calvin J. Stevens, F. K. Shattuck, N. J. 
Overacker, John Hall, Joseph Freeman, Isaac Freeman, Duncan Cameron, George 
Gaskins, Peter Olsen, D. A. Plummer, John W. Jamison, Louis Ettablow, Alexander 
Allen, Rev. W. Taylor, Harvey Taylor, Liberty Perham, Rev. A. H. Myers, Richard 

Threlfall, Henry Curtner, Daniel M. Sanborn, John T. Stevenson, E. S. Allen, 

Finch, Joseph Ralph, Joseph Worrell, Joel Russell, Scribner, George Simpson, 

114 History of Alameda County, California. 

Joseph Scott, Victor W. Nuttman, Samuel. Murdoch, Thomas W. Millard, Isaac M. 
Long, William Barry, Tompkins, George M. Walters, H. K. W. Clarke, Nathan- 
iel L. Babb, Edward Ross, Howard Overacker, Emery Munyan, Garrett S. Norris, 
Peter J. Campbell, William H. Cockefair, Edward Chauncey, W. Param. 

1853. — James Hutchison, Cornelius Mohr, Thomas B. Smith, Michael Overacker, 
William W. McKenzie, John D. Brower, Joseph Dieves, Franklin Pancoast, William 
Newcomb, Henry Rogers, Capt. F. C. Coggeshall, Russell M. Rogers, Henry Smyth, 

Mason, George S. Myers, H. A. Wickware, N. W. Palmer, Tim. Hauschildt, H. S. 

Barlow, David S. Smalley, Captain Miller, Frank Frietes, Hermann Eggers, John C. 
Whipple, Joseph F. Black, John McRae, J. S. Munoz, Jarel T. Walker, Luther E. 
Osgood, John Blacow, Farley B. Granger, John Proctor, James Emerson, John 

Buchanan, Abraham Harri.s, McWilliams, William Ogden, Trueworthy,' 

Edward F. Burdick, Ebenezer Healey, John Whitman, J. West Martin, James W. 

Dougherty, Doctor Kampf, E. Clawiter, Christian Butsow, Lewis Brady, King, 

Isaac Frank, Peterson, Chris. Anderson, William Oatman, C. P. Hansen, Joseph 

De Mount, J. F. Elliott, John Huff, William Mahoney, E. D. Mann, Emmerson T. 
Crane, Leonard Stone, Rev. H. Durant. 

1854. — H. H. C. Barlow, Col. Jack Hays, Richard T. Pope, Simon Zimmerman, 
Andrew J. McLeod, H. Hampel, John Mathew, Joseph B. Marlin, Joseph H. Taylor, 
Frederick Schweer, Jacob Schilling, John Taylor, Henry Dusterberry, William Wales, 
Z. D. Cheney, Silvester P. Harvey, William H. Mack, Michael Ryan, August Heyer, 

August May, Elijah Foster, William Morgan, Bain, Ezra Decoto, D. S. Lancey; and 

from the accompanying list furnished to us we find there were the following " squatters ' 
in this year, all the signatures being genuine: W. R. Richardson, F. Pancoast, Fred. S. 
Smith, James Ford, A. Moon, Chas. W. Evans, Anthony Perry, John Howlett, Hiram A. 
Wickware, E. Saillot, H. K. W. Clarke, J. S. Tubbs, G. W. Gaskins, Lemoine Frdres, W. 
L. Johnson, Aaron A. Ferguson, Felix Byrne, Murdock Nicholson, Michael Trombly, 
Lecomtejean Jules, James F. Barnwell, H. L. Leffingwell, Samuel Chase, John Hagan, 
Rufus C. Vose, William Lunt, Laren Coburn, Jonathan Mulkey, C. H. Regn^ Jona- 
than L. Marshall, Duncan Cameron, Henry C. Clark, Thomas Wheeler, William 
Shelly, Alphonse Gonnet, George Carpenter, A. Marier, Edson Adams, A. W. Barrell, 
A. Staples, Sargent Kelly, H. A. Brown, Moore & Chester, J. Miller O'Meara, Arthur 
Mathews, L. Hughes, Thos. Beale, Anto. Vidal, Louis Lamrei, A. Frangois Xavier, 

Homer Horton, Alfred H. O-sborn, John D. Brower, George Mahan, Rudsdale, 

John McCorkey, F. P. Keefer, John Trendt, William Harwood, J. W. Cronkheite, C 
Alexander Petersen, William Tullock, James Jamison, G. W. Parsons, John Chisholm, 
Seth K. Bailey, Frederick Van Horn, Jonathan Wells, William Ortman, George 
Heinsld, E. H. Keakley, John Huff, John J. Hardy, John B. Lock, William Perkins, 
George C. Wickware, B. F. Simms, Henry Bohlman, R. Christensen, O. F. Fay, 
George Fay, Darwin D. Mann, Patrick McDonald, Augustus Johnson, N. H. Wray, 
William F. Miller, Franklin Wray, William Watts, Peter Johnson, John Sturgis, R S. 
Farrelly, R. T. King, Jacob Eversen, Riley H. Gragg, Samuel E. Spusling, E. A. 
Hawley, F. Maillot, B. Phillips, E. Clawitei;, Christian Anderson, A. H. Smith, A. 
Ringle, Jr., James Beletsen, Calvin James, C. Shoe, Jerry Beeday, J. A. Hobart, L. 
LaGrange, George H. Everett, I. Sanford, George Mason, C. Shaw, W. L. Johnson, 
Samuel Moore, J. E. Otter, Daniel Tichnor, Charles Goodrich,. John Bowman. 

Early History and Settlement. 115 

1855. — William M. Card, Hiram Bailey, Edward Hoskins, Abraham C. Brown, 
Peter Mathews, James Linfoot, Josiah H. Brickell, Joseph Graham, Richard Barron, 

Philip Thorn, William H. Healey, Frank Heare, James Taylor, Hirschfeldter, 

Robert Gilmore, I. B. Haines. 

1856. — Conrad Liese, Thomas Rafferty, John Lynch, Edmund Jones, William 
Knox, Otis Hall, Frederick Wrede, John Wille, Ferdinand Schultz, A. B. Montross, 
James A. Brewer, James Shinn, Henry F. Nebas, Comfort Healey, M. G. Higgins, 

Deveney, John Martin, "Dan. McMillan, Charles Stuzel, Frederick D. Arfif, Die- 

drich Pestdorf, Edward Murphy. 

1857. — John N. English, W. T. Lemon, E. H. Dyer, Howard S. Jarvis, Walter 
Baker, George W. Peacock, James Sinclair, Samuel K. Brown, Lewis Knox, Samuel 
Merritt, Andrew Peterson. 

1858. — Maas Lueders, Hugh B. McAvoy, Edward Newland, Hiram Tubbs, 
Thomas W. Morgan, Bernard McAvoy, Joseph S. Emery, W. H. Miller, William 
Gibbons, Antonio Bardellini, John Green. 

1859. — Adam Fath, Samuel Milbury, Jeremiah Callaghan, James Moffitt, Watkin 
W. Wynn, William Owen, James J. Stokes, David H. Beck. 

i860. — Lysander Stone, William Meek, Columbus R. Lewis, H. Remillard, N. D. 
Dutcher, John W. Clark, Jacob F. Meyers, John Decoto, Adolphus Decoto, Nicholas 
Bergmann, Edwin A. Richmond, Jonathan E. Healey. 

1 86 1. —William M. Mendenhall, Daniel M. Teeter, W. W. Moore, Capt. Thomas 
Badger, Frederick Brustgrun, A. P. Rose, Israel Horton, Judge Nye. 

1862. — O. W. Owen, Duncan Sinclair, A. W. Schafer, Ivan J. Tifoche. 

1863. — John Booken, Amos S. Bangs, Hugh Bankhead, F. D. Hinds, J. A. Bilz, 
Alson S. Clark, Solomon Ehrman, B. T. Clough, Jacob Teeters, William Whittner, 
Doctor Goucher. 

1864.— Dr. I. N. Mark, William B. Smith, Ives Scoville, Diedrich Buhsen, J. A. 
Rose, O. Whipple, Michael Rogan, Adam A. Overacker, Powell, Manuel Fereira. 

1865. — Frederick Rose, Charles Rose, Martin Mendenhall, Peter Pumyea, W. B. 
Ingersoll, A. G. Lawrie, Capt. A. Milton, E. B. Renshaw, M. W. Dixon, F. C. Jarvis, 
Hugh Dougherty, Peter McKeany, C. A. Plummer. 

In our township histories will be found all that is of interest appertaining to them, 
therefore we will spare the reader the infliction of repetition. The history of the city 
of Oakland which was first incorporated as a town, will be found fully given in its 
proper place. Its existence began before Alameda County was; indeed the same may 
be Sfiid of the other places in the county. In 1853 the Legislature created from out 
of Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties, that of Alameda, and soon the official 
machinery was set in motion, the facts of which will be found in our Legislative 

It will be curious in a general way to state the appearance of Alameda County 
in 1851. In that year of grace the triumvirate, Horace W. Carpentier, A. J. Moon, 
and Edson Adams appear on the scene and commenced their operations where now 
stands Oakland. Moses Chase and the Patten Brothers made their home where 
we now have that portion of East Oakland then called Clinton; the San Antonio red- 
woods were resounding to the noise of hundreds of axes and tens of saw-mills and 

116 History of Alameda County, California. 

pits. Between there and the mission no residence was to be found save those of two 
or three Mexican rancheros. Where San Leandro now is the Estudillo family held 
dominant sway. An Indian rancheria occupied the locality of San Lorenzo; Haywards 
was the home of Guillermo Castro; behind the hills, Jos^ Maria Amador was lord and 
master; a howling wilderness was what has since become Mount Eden; what has now 
developed into New Haven was then the embarcadero for the mission; there were a very 
few settlers about Centreville; at Washington Corners, John M. Homer was alone; at 
the mission, Henry C. Smith had succeeded Chamberlin in his store, while there were a 
few foreign settlers and many natives; the famous Warm Springs were as yet an 
undiscovered boon to iany but a few Indians and Californians, and the old chief 
Morgiana had still around him a few retainers; Sunol Valley was inhabited by a few 
of that name; Pleasanton, then called Alisal, had the Bernals and John W. Kottinger; 
and in Livermore Valley the little Englishman, Robert Livermore, was " monarch of 
all he surveyed." In that year James B. Larue had taken the first step towards found- 
ing the town of San Antonio, while many were the eager and hungry eyes that longed 
for so fair an inheritance. In the following year Chipman and Aughinbaugh laid out 
the town of Alameda; landings were established on all the creeks where a boat could 
float; in Brooklyn Township we had that of Damon and Clark; at San Lorenzo, 
Capt. John Chisholm and William Roberts were erecting warehouses; near San 
Leandro Moses Wicks, T. W. Mulford, Minor and William Smith, made a landing 
whence they shipped game to San Francisco; and last came that horde of squatters who 
located on every available piece of land. 

The supply of game was practically unlimited as the following items will show. 
In February, 1852, Moses Wicks, T. W. Mulford, and the Smiths, sent to market, 
the fruits of their own guns, in that month, one hundred and twenty-five pairs of wild 
geese; fifty-three pairs of canvas-back ducks; sixty-nine pairs of small ducks; fifteen 
pairs of widgeons; forty-one pairs of spoonbills; twenty-seven pairs of teals; sixty-three 
pairs of broad-bill ducks; one hundred and ninety-two curlews; two hundred and 
seven plovers; forty-eight dowitches; one hundred and fifty-six "peeps" ; forty-eight 
snipe; and one rabbit, being in all fourteen hundred and twenty-three head, for which 
seven hundred and seventy-one dollars and eighteen cents were received. 

In 1852 the region around Mount Eden was first located by John Johnson, Alex- 
ander Peterson, George N. Myers, Fritz Boehmer, Joel Russell, William Field, Charles 
Duerr, while William Hayward took up his residence where the pretty little town of 
that name now stands. By this time our good friend A. M. Church had commenced 
store-keeping in Alvarado; Centreville had an accession to its strength in- the persons 
of William Blacow and John Threlfall, where others soqn came; Ed Niehaus and his 
partner, L. P. Gate.s, were on the Tyson and Morrison tract who owned many miles of 
country between the mission and Niles. We find in that vicinity then the names of 
Beard, Breyfogle, Brier, and Broder, Chamberlin, Coombs, and Crane, Ellsworth, 
Haley, and Huff, Marston, Moore, and Palmer. Near the Agua Caliente Ranch were 
Clemente Columbet, Henry Curtner, T. W. Millard, G. W. Peacock. In the Amador 
Valley there had appeared Jeremiah Fallon and Michael Murray^ — indeed the county 
had progressed towards a rapid settlement and gave earnest of its present prosperity. 

At the start settlers had considerable difficulties to contend with in the uncertainty 

Early History and Settlement. 117 

of land tenure and consequently were saddled with a great amount of litigation, the 
questions involved being chiefly between Government lands and Mexican grants, a far 
more serious matter than the encroachments of cattle and other like annoyances. Of 
the capabilities of the soil they were entirely ignorant, as they were also of the proper 
mode of cultivation to be pursued. What might be a remunerative crop one year, the 
next might prove an utter failure, and under this uncertainty many lost heart and for- 
sook the plowshare for the pick and shovel at the mines, hoping there to replenish 
their depleted coffers. The price of the articles they required was very high, while 
the markets were in a perpetual state of fluctuation. The wages asl^ed were 
ruinous, farm hands demanding four dollars a day, while to add to their grievances 
several of the settlers were forced to pay twice for their land ere they could feel them- 
selves undeniable proprietors, and were the individual a renter, then one-half of his 
yield was expected as payment. The most profitable crops were wheat, barley, 
potatoes, and onions. The sowers of barley, in 185 1, reaped twelve and a half cents 
per pound when sold in the spring; those who planted potatoes in 1852, amassed 
competencies, which, in the following year were lost by the cultivation of the same 
commodity. Immense quantities were raised by John M. Homer in both years, in 
the first year realizing as much as a thousand dollars per acre; in the second year 
they did not pay the outlay for sacks and were allowed to rot in the fields. However, 
the crop of wheat in 1853 was prodigious, in many cases seventy-five bushels to the 
acre, and fully made up for the loss in tubers. So weighty were the heads that the 
entire crop had to be cut by hand and after threshing realized eight and a half cents 
at the mill. Having mentioned the subject of flour-mills we may state that in 
1850 there was a very crude one at Niles, the property of J. J. Vallejo, and in 1852, 
one was built at the mission by E. L. Beard and H. G. Ellsworth. In 1853, how- 
ever, Mr. Vallejo built a larger one on the site of that already mentioned, run by 
water power, while in the same year J. M. Homer put up a steam mill at Alvarado — 
the one that was afterwards moved to Livermore by Calvin J. Stevens. It may be 
stated in the connection of agriculture, that the first blacksmith's shop in the county 
was erected in 1853 by John Boyle at San Lorenzo and was the germ from which has 
since sprung the extensive agricultural works there. 

In the year 1854 Oakland became a city, and craved for the honors of being 
county seat, but the public voice elected that it should remain at Alvarado, not- 
withstanding that its location there was attended with many disadvantages. By 
this time the population had considerably augmented and stores for their convenience 
had been established at Centreville, by Captain Bond; at Brooklyn, by — Lacey. 
H. C. Smith had left the mission and joined issues with A. M. Church at Alvarado, 
and Oakland boasted more than half a dozen. 

On the night of February 13, 1855, the County Treasurer's office at Alvarado 
was entered and the safe in which were deposited the county funds opened, and the 
money, between eleven and twelve thousand dollars, stolen. This robbery is else- 
where more fully described, while it is believed to have been effected by some one 
that was perfectly familiar with the premises. In this same month the Court House 
at San Leandro, the former residence of the Estudillo family, was discovered to be 
on fire, and as there were no means at hand for extinguishing the flames, it was 

118 History of Alameda County, California. 

entirely consumed. The county records and other valuable papers were saved, but 
the entire loss was estimated at from six to eight thousand dollars. In this month 
the District Court held its first session in San Leandro, but its business was con- 
siderably retarded by this untoward event, the Court being under the necessity of 
adjourning until suitable accommodation could be provided. The fire was supposed 
to be the work of an incendiary, instigated either by revenge excited by the removal 
of the county seat from Alvarado, or jealousy on the part of some neighboring town 
that aspired to the honor. If this be true, 'tis a sad and humiliating reflection on the 
weakness of human nature. 

We have mentioned above the subject of " squatters," but it should have been 
said that in 1853 they associated themselves in order to protect what they thought 
to be their interests. To this end the following rules, which explain themselves, 
were adopted: — 

" We, the undersigned, citizens of Alameda County, and settlers upon what are 
supposed to be the public lands belonging to the United States, within said county, 
believing that we can more effectually guard our interests as such settlers by.mutually 
supporting and protecting each other: Therefore form ourselves into an association 
and adopt the following as the .fundamental rules of our government: — 

"First. — This association shall be known as 'The Pre-emptioner's League.' 

" Second. — The object of this association shall be mutual support and protection 
in the defense of our pre-emption claims. 

" Third. — The officers of this association shall be a President, two Vice-Presi- 
dents, a Secretary and Treasurer, and such temporary officers and agents as from 
time to time may, in the sound discretion of the association, be found necessary. 

" Fourth. — It shall be the. duty of the President, or, in case of his absence, any 
one of the Vice-Presidents, to preside at all meetings of the League. 

" Fifth. — It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a full and fair record of 
all the proceedings of the League, and, when notified by the President, to call all 
meetings of the League. 

" Sixth. — It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and safely keep all the 
funds belonging to the League, and to keep a correct account of all moneys by 
him received and expended for the League, and from time to time, as the League 
may require, report to this League the condition of the treasury. 

" Seventh. — It shall be necessary for the Treasurer, before acting upon the duties 
of his office, to make and execute a bond, to be approved by the President of 
the League, in the sum of five thousand dollars, conditioned upon the faithful dis- 
charge of his duties as such Treasurer; said bond shall be made payable to the 
Secretary of the League, and by the Secretary deposited with the President of 
the League. 

■ " Eighth. — All bills against this League shall be presented to the President, and 
if by him allowed to be just charges against the League, shall be paid by drafts on 
the Treasurer, said drafts to be drawn and signed by the President and counter-signed 
by the Secretary. 

"Ninth. — Every person, to become a member of this League, must be a settler 
within the county of Alameda; must pay five dollars into the treasury, and subscribe 

Early History and Settlement. 119 

to the following obligation, to wit: We, the undersigned, do solemnly agree, and by 
these presents bind ourselves, each to the other, and all to each one, that individually 
we will make no overtures to the land claimants for a settlement of our difficulties with 
them, and will reject all such as maybe made to us by them until such overtures shall 
have been submitted to and approved by this League; that we will contribute equally 
of money in support of this League, and at all times hold ourselves in readiness to 
aid and assist each other to defend our homes and farms from the grasping avarice of 
the land speculators." 

To this document one hundred and nine names were signed, who each paid the 
sum of five dollars. The machinery of the association was soon put in motion, the 
proper officers appointed, and thenceforward meetings regularly convened, and minuted 
in somewhat grandiloquent strains, as may be gathered from the following excerpt 
from a record book kindly placed at our disposal: " County Convention held at the 
rancho of W. R. Richardson, on October 29, 1853: The sun shone gloriously, as if 
heaven smiled on our cause, and the old cannon, 'The Squatter,' belched forth its 
thunders, calling together the farmers around. On every side could be seen the hardy 
pedestrian and horseman, and four-horse teams with the ' Stars and Stripes ' floating 
gaily in the breeze. As they reached the ground three hearty cheers welcomed their 
arrival. After a friendly interchange of sentiments the President took the chair and 
called the meeting to order, etc." This is an introduction worthy of the lamented 
novelist, G. P. R. James, whose inevitable " two horsemen " paved the way to the 
romances that were wont to thrill our bosoms in our more youthful days. 

Reminiscences of long ago are ever full of pleasure or of pain; but more deep 
the pain where man's blood has been shed to avenge a fancied wrong. Unhappily, 
the so-called " code of honor " was too much in vogue in the early Californian days, 
and too often friend met friend in deadly combat. The incident we are about to 
relate describes how two men whose love for each other was like that of Jonathan 
to David, became maddened by jealousy and poured out each other's blood. 

Four-and-thirty years ago, the spot on which Oakland now stands was almost an 
unbroken solitude. The shores of Lake Merritt, where now broad avenues, lined with 
stately mansions, adorn and beautify the thriving and populous city, was then a 
wilderness of trees and undergrowth, save here and there an open glade of a few 
acres in extent. The whole of the territory embraced within the present city limits 
could not boast of more than half a dozen dwellings, scattered along the margin of 
the bay, from the creek to the Point. On the 24th of December, 1849, the echoes of 
these silent woods were awakened by the sharp report of fire-arms, the green sward of 
one of these openings stained with human blood, and the lives of two intelligent 
beings went out forever from the joys and sorrows of earth to test the mysteries of 
the hereafter. On a spot near where Twelfth Street Bridge now spans the estuary a 
tragedy was enacted that beautiful winter morning that never became known beyond 
the few intirnate friends of the actors, but which carried mourning and lamentation 
into two happy Southern homes on the banks of a far-off Southern river. Compan- 
ions in boyhood, college chums in youth, and devoted friends in early manhood, these 
two men had met that holy Christmas Eve, with dire hate in their hearts, determined 
to take each other's life. It was the old, old story of rivalry for the hand of a beau- 

120 History of Alameda County, California. 

tiful maiden, which had grown into jealousy and ripened into an all-absorbing passion 
for revenge. The love of excitement and wild adventure had brought them to Cali- 
fornia, one by the way of the Isthmus and the other overland, and, meeting in San 
Francisco, a trivial occurrence kindled the smouldering embers into a fierce name 
that nothing but blood could quench. With a few selected friends they both crossed 
the bay in a small boat, and, rowing up the creek until a favorable spot was reached, 
disembarked. Their positions taken at ten paces, the word given, and each lay pros- 
trate on the ground, one shot through the heart, the other with a bullet in his brain. 
Silently their earthly remains were lifted into the boat, and side by side in death's grim 
embrace were they conveyed to San Francisco, where they were quietly buried, and 
the world moved on as though nothing had transpired outside of the usual course. 
Thus ended Alameda County's first duel, but unfortunately not its last. Two of these 
others we have described elsewhere. 

There are many "beautiful spots" throughout the world, from the gorgeous 
Orient to the brilliant Occident — 

" Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold, 
Where the burning rays of the ruby shine, 
And the diamond lights up the secret mine. 
And the pearl gleams forth from the coral strand. " 

We doubt if the sun-light reveals any more eloquent in natural beauty, or richer 
in natural resources than our own Contra Costa, the " opposite coast " of the first 
Spanish settlers. It stretches for more than forty miles along the waters of the 
splendid San Francisco Bay, and diagonally opposite the city of the same name — 
the marvel of the age — the reality that rivals romance, before which the magicians' 
wands become powerless — " they cannot do so with their enchantments." Verily, 
we live in a marvelous age, when the wildest dreams of imagination fall within the 
limits of the actual. If our capabilities keep pace with our experiences, the poet is 
yet to be who can tell us of our future. 

But will the reader journey with us to the summit of the Contra Costa Range 
and place himself in the position thus described by Byron: — 

•• A king sat on the rocky brow, 

That looks o'er sea-born Salamis 
And ships by thousands lay below — " 

And here he will find himself the center of a circle which has for its radius more than 
eighty miles. The long chain of mountains visible in the far-away east is the 
Sierra Nevada Range, white with eternal snow. There the grizzly bear makes his 
home and the fearful avalanche falls; but within these rock-ribbed mountains, girdled 
with ice, are untold riches deposited for future generations. See ! Before lies the 
grand panorama of the Great Artist, spread out in all its perfection of beauty 
and sublimity. That passage of water to the right, running in a northerly direc- 
tion is the Straits of Carquinez, through which our river steamboats distribute 
wealth and happiness to the fertile uplands of the north. In the southern distance 
lies the city of San Jose, shining like a brilliant constellation in the morning 
sunbeams. Mount San Bruno, enveloped in amber haze; the glittering hills of our 
Ocean City, and the Golden Gate limit our western prospect. In the east the 
sun is shining brightly above the Sierra Nevada, pouring a flood of golden light upon 

Early History and Settlement. 121 

the scene. The tout ensemble of the picture is subhme beyond description and is no 
less beautiful in detail. Before us the magnificent Bay of San Francisco, bordered 
by sunny slopes, abrupt steeps and evergreen woodlands is floating in graceful curva- 
tures, away in the dim distance. The silver arteries flow brightly through the valley, 
imparting life to business and vitality to the vista. Along its margin, nestling 
among the grateful shade, see the flourishing towns of Oakland and Alameda; farther 
south on the border of a navigable stream are to be discerned the villages of Alva- 
rado and Union City, while beyond is the quaint old Mission of San Jose. These 
places are all connected by steam and the finest roads in the State, over which vehi- 
cles can progress with almost railroad speed, rendering drives through any 
section of this valley, an unalloyed pleasure. How full of busy human life is this 
valley, which, thirty years ago, was covered only with grazing herds and an 
occasional adobe. It presents a checkered scene as well, emblematic of life. The 
farmers plow their land in squares, and the rich, dark loam, just seeded, forms a 
striking contrast with the bright green of progressed vegetation. 

The form of the valley is oval, the length stretching north and south. It appears 
from the heights to be an amphitheater, surrounded by hills with no open view to 
the ocean save through the Golden Gate at the west, which gives it the appearance 
of having been the bed of an inland sea, as has been mentioned before, and the pecu- 
liar character of the soil justifies this idea. The natives hold a pretty tradition to 
this effect: They tell us that '' many years agone " the surrounding mountains were 
the walls of a great sea, but the Storm-King came in wrath and maddened the waves, 
driving them furiously against the rock-bound shore, when the father of waters opened 
the Golden Gate and received them into his peaceful bosom. 

Those masses of unshapen rocks that crouch upon the bosom of the ocean, far 
out from the Golden Gate, are the barren Farralones. Ah! A sp'.endid clipper is 
entering under a press of sail — a perfect sea-bird, 

" She walks the water like a thing of life," 

And brings to our shores the products of every cHme: God bless the sailors! A 
steamship follows close upon her track, with teas from Sinim's Land. And what is 
this trail of smoke along the shore ? It is the line left by the swift-winged cars, 
bringing news from the Eastern States and Europe — news from the dearTjnes we left in 
the dear old homes of our childhood-time-proved friends, with -hearts as true and 
tried as steel, and as warm as ever. 

After this digression we will take up the thread of our chronicles and state 
that on July 24, 1858, the Alameda County Agricultural Society was formed, the 
gentlemen signing the Constitution being H. C. Smith, Dr. H. Gibbons, A. H. Myers, 
Harry Linden, W. W. Moore, J. M. Moore, R. Blacow, Alfred Lewelling, P. J. Camp- 
bell, Frank F. Fargo, H. Lewelling, G. W. Fountain, Mark T. Ashley, F. K. Shattuck, 
S. Shurtleff, Isaac B. Rumford, E. Wilson, Hiram Keeney, J. Blacow, W. H. Davis, 
John B. Ward, J. L.Wilson, D. E. Hough, E. S. Chipman, C. C. Breyfogle, J. A. Lent. 
The benefit of such societies was dilated on by J. Silver, of Philadelphia, while it was 
decided to hold semi-annual fairs, one in the spring, for the display of flowers, early 
grains, and the products of the horticulturist; and the other in the autumn, for 
the exhibition of stock, general farming produce, late fruits, and vegetables, and 
9 • 

122 History of Alameda County, California. 

such other articles that could be shown to greater advantage at this season of the 
year. The first officers were, A. H. Myers, President; H. C. Smith, F. K. Shattuck, 
Vice-Presidents; E. S. Chipman, Secretary; Frank F. Fargo, Treasurer; Robert 
Blacow, Alfred Lewelling, Directors. 

In this year, 1858, the Warm Springs first attracted attention as a place of fash- 
ionable resort, and on July 29th were opened by Alexander Beatty, with a grand ball. 
They had been originally utilized by Clfemente Columbet, who moved a house all the 
way from San Jose to the spot. After 1858 the Springs were much affected by the 
world at large, but since their purchase by ex-Governor Leland Stanford, their pris- 
tine uses have been abandoned. 

The following is an abstract of the annual report made by Rev. J. D. Strong, on 
November 23, 1861, to the State Superintendent of Instruction: — 

Children from four to eighteen years of age 1828 

More boys than girls m 

Increase during the year. 204 

Children under four years ' 1076 

Under twenty-one years 2997 

Born in California 1765 

Deaf and Dumb 3 

Blind I 

Scholars enrolled in the Public Schools 772 

Average daily attendance 437 

Number of schools 22 

Teachers employed during the year 32 

Average salary per month $61 CX3 

Average number of months the schools were open 7/^ 

School Fund received from State $2, 130 00 

Received from County ' $5>4I7 0° 

Raised in the districts , $2, 324 00 

Total expenditure during the year $9,986 00 

Average for each pupil enrolled 13 

" The amount raised in the various districts by voluntary subscription is as fol- 
lows: Alvarado, one hundred and eighty-two dollars; Union, two hundred and eighty- 
seven dollars; Eureka, two hundred and twenty-eight dollars; Lockwood, two hun- 
dred dollars; Centreville, one hundred and ninety-four dollars; Ocean View, one hun- 
dred and forty-four dollars; Alviso, one hundred and seven dollars; Alameda, one 
hundred and six dollars; Mission San ]os6, San Lorenzo, Redwood, and Temescal, 
raised less than one hundred dollars each, while Murray, Peralta, Edenvale, Oakland, 
and Brooklyn, depended entirely upon the public fund. The amount thus raised by 
the districts this year is only one-half as large as that raised during the previous year, 
and the average expenditure per scholar is also less. The Union, Brooklyn, Oakland, 
Murray, and Ocean View schools were maintained ten months or more; the Mission, 
nine months; the Alvarado, San Lorenzo, Alameda, and Murray's Landing, eight 
months; the Lockwood and Eureka, seven months; the Alviso, five months; and the 
Redwood, Temescal, and Peralta, four months. 

"There are three times as many male teachers as female in the county; the aver- 
age length of the schools is greater this year than last, but the average salary paid 
for teaching is less, and the average attendance on the schools less. All except three 

Early History and Settlement. 123 

or four of the teachers have had from three to twenty^one years' experience in teach- 
ing, and nine intend to devote themselves to the profession for life. 

" The school-houses in the county generally, are unfit for use. With three or four 
exceptions, a humane man would feel that they were scarcely fit to shelter his ani- 
mals. Too small, badly constructed, worse furnished, and unpleasant in every way, 
they cannot but have a sad influence over the tastes and feelings and character of 
those whom they are assisting to educate. Those in Oakland, Brooklyn, and Alameda, 
are especially inadequate to meet the wants of the scholars — Oakland and Brooklyn 
each need a school building adapted to a graded school. Oakland especially with its 
four hundred and sixty-four children drawing the public money, has not adequate 
school accommodations for more than thirty scholars. The remaining three hundred 
and eighty-six are practically unprovided for. At the same time that district has 
more than sixteen hundred dollars lying idle in the county treasiiry. The Peralta and 
Bay Districts also need school-houses. 

" In addition to the public schools there are nine private schools and coflege.s in 
the county, with about one hundred and ninety pupils." 

What a change is now observed from this sad state of affairs; to-day no county 
in the Union has greater reason to be proud of its school advantages. Alameda 
County lias become the educational center of the State and bids fair to maintain her 
high reputation. 

The winter of 1861-62 is one that will never be forgotten in the memory of those 
who experienced its inclemencies. Snow lay in the valleys despite the sun's rays, 
and the last Sunday in January, 1862, ice formed to the thickness of an inch. So 
severe were tlie early rains, and so high the tides, that all low lying lands were sub- 
merged. The Alameda Wharf was lost to sight for a time and the ferry-boats were 
compelled to suspend some of their regular trips; Amador Valley was transformed 
into one great lake; the San Leandro Creek rose to so great a height that some build- 
ings near the bay were carried away, while one of the piers of the bridge was consid- 
erably damaged; much destruction ensued at Niles, San Lorenzo, and Yoakum's 
Ferry; while traffic was nearly suspended, the meetings of the Court of Sessions and 
Board of Supervisors being adjourned on account of the difficulty of travel. The- 
volume of water that fell in the month of January was immense; on the 23d of that 
month an inch of rain fell in the short space of forty minutes, while the San Lorenzo 
Creek rose seven feet and two inches in fifty-eight minutes. The flood would appear 
to have been general throughout the State; for it is estimated that damage was done 
to the extent of seventy-five millions of dollars. This gloom overshadowed the hearts 
of all the farmers, for their crops were threatened with destruction: as we write, March 
23, 1883, the same despair has settled upon the agriculturists but because there has 
been no rain ! Truly the farmer's lot is not a happy one ! We are told that as late 
as the month of April, 1862, Mission Peak and the higher hills were capped with snow, 
and on May 17th were bedecked in a like manner, while as late as the month of June 
the county was visited by frequent showers of rain, notwithstanding all of which 
the crops were promising. Indeed, the year 1862 was phenomenal as regards the 
weather, and had there been- a Wiggins to prophecy the raging of storms and dire 
catastrophes, our farmers might well have felt apprehensive. On the 1 8th of August, 

124 History of Alameda County, California. 

a straw stack near Mount Eden was struck by lightning and burned during a severe 
thunder-storm, while the telegraph wire at Centreville was also struck in like manner, 
exploding the magnet in the telegraph office and making a report like that of a 

With the year 1863 came marvelous changes. The subject of railroads first 
commanded public attention in the question of a subsidy for the Alameda Valley Rail- 
road, and the breaking of ground at Sacramento for the great tran.s-continental line of 
the Central Pacific, while in the month of February the organization of the San Fran- 
cisco, Alameda, and Stockton Railroad Company commenced to be spoken of The 
subject of railroads, however, will be found more extendedly dwelt upon in the history 
of Oakland Township, suffice it here to state that the boon conferred upon Alameda 
County by this means of transportation has been inestimable. In this year too, a min- 
ing excitement had broken out, and several persons were digging into the hills some 
four miles to the east of Brooklyn, on what afterwards obtained the appropriate sob- 
riquet of " Wild Cat Ranch," but we have failed to learn that any one " struck it rich " 
though all at the time were full of hope. On November 23d several parties in Alva- 
rado were fired upon by a gang of Mexican desperadoes, who took to flight immedi- 
ately thereafter, but the outraged citizens at once started in pursuit and capturing one 
of them very properly hanged him at the bridge crossing the Alameda Creek. 

The opening of the year still brought the mining excitement. The Newsoi Jan- 
uary 23d says: "Mr. D. B. Goode called at our office on Wednesday last, on his return 
from San Francisco, where he had been on business connected with the Occidental 
Mining Company, located in Murray Township, in the southeast part of this county. 
This company is organized but not incorporated as yet. Mr. Goode is an old miner, 
having resided for some time in Placer County, and of course is no novice in mining 
operations. He has been prospecting and mining in this vicinity since last June and 
is now satisfied that he has ' struck it rich.' The lead struck is principally silver, with 
a slight mixture of gold. The district laid out is called the ' Alameda Mining Dist- 
rict,' and the by-laws of the company will soon be published. The shaft is now forty 
feet deep and the rock at this depth just assayed in San Francisco yielded at the rate 
of eighty dollars per ton of silver. At the depth of forty feet the ledge is some four 
feet wide, well defined, runs north and south, and dips to the east." 

The Mountain House, situated in the northeastern portion of the county, was 
attacked and plundered by a band of robbers on January 15, 1864, who were armed 
with pistols and bowie-knives and threatened to kill the inmates, the only men in the 
house being a sick Frenchman and a not very courageous German. By their intimi- 
dation they succeeded in obtaining one hundred dollars of Mr. Zimmerman's treasure, 
two dollars and a half from the Frenchman and all of the Teuton's wealth — one dollar. 
From this sum they afterwards, out of the fullness of their hearts returned one 
dollar, saying they did not like to leave a man " dead broke." Making their escape 
with the booty, they were subsequently apprehended in San Josd, brought back to 
Alameda County, tried before Judge Hamilton, and sent across the bay for fifteen 
years; the sentence of one of them, however, who gave the name of Charles Williams, 
being afterwards reduced to ten years. Sheriff Morse, at the commencement of this 
year, reported the enrollment of three thousand and eight men for military duty, a 

Early History and Settlement. 125 

large proportion of the population when it is considered that California would not be 
called upon to take any part in the civil war which was then at its height, although 
it was thought, for prudential reasons, necessary to ascertain the military strength of 
the State. It is said that in Brooklyn Township there was one man adjudged insane 
for resisting the muster. 

Mr. Halley relates the following distressing accident as occurring on September 
7, 1864, about midway between Niles and Centreville. "It appears that a Mr. Jerome 
Rice, an auctioneer of San Francisco, and his book-keeper, a Mr. R. Gardiner, were 
■on their way to Warm Springs in a buggy, drawn by a span of horses, and losing their 
way near Alvarado in the dark lost sight of the main road and took a wrong direction; 
when at the point indicated, the horses stopped suddenly on the edge of the river 
bank and Mr. Gardiner suggested that one of them had better get out and see what 
was the matter. Mr. Rice thought it was but one of those sudden frights to which 
horses are subjected and urged them forward again, when, in an instant, horses, driver, 
carriage and all went crashing down to the bottom of the creek, making a fall of 
about twenty feet. Strange as it may appear, here they remained as they fell for four 
days and nights, without relief or food, with the exception of Mr. Gardiner, who, after 
shouting himself hoarse and remaining a whole day expecting assistance, with a 
a broken leg, proceeded to drag himself towards the nearest habitation, that of Mr. 
Overacker, which was almost within hailing distance. He was not seen nor heard 
and two days and nights and a part of a third day were consumed in making this 
painful journey. When the circumstances of the sad affair were made known to Mr. 
Overacker and his family, they at once proceeded to render all the assistance in their 
power. On arriving at the scene of the accident, they found that Mr. Rice was hurt 
internally, seriously injured, and ktjocked insensible by the fall. One of the horses 
was lying down, tangled in the harness, and the other standing by him. When Mr. 
Rice was taken up he remarked: " How hard it is to lie here and die. How far is it 
— " and then became insensible. He died on the following day, at two o'clock in the 
morning. Mr. Gardiner, notwithstanding the hardships he endured and the severity 
of his injuries, recovered, but was lame for life. 

On September 2, 1864, there was killed in action in the Shenandoah Valley, 
Captain C. S. Eigenbrodt, a gentleman who had formerly held the office of Super- 
visor for Washington Township, in this county, and who had gone East with a com- 
pany of California Cavalry, which was attached to a Massachusetts regiment. The 
intelligence of his death was received with much regret throughout Alameda, while 
the Crusade Lodge of Odd Fellows, of which he had been a prominent member, 
passed resolutions of condolence and regret and otherwise honored his memory. In 
December, of this year, trouble with "squatters" commenced on the ranch, near the 
mission, of H. G. Ellsworth, but they were not of long duration, that gentleman 
having got rid of them, and ultimately obtained full possession of the property. At 
the January term of the County Court in this year the case of H. G. Ellsworth versus 
Elias Sampson and twenty others, for trespass as squatters on a portion of the Mission 
Ranch, was tried, and, after several days in Court, the plaintiff was awarded damageg 
to the extent of one thousand dollars. The legal talent on either side were: For 
plaintiff, Edward Tompkins; for defendants, W. H. Glascock, H. K. W. Clarke, and 

126 History of Alameda County, California. 

Judge Collins. In this year the contract for the construction of the Western Pacific 
Railroad, from San Jose to Stockton, was let to Cox & Meyers, and work commenced 
in the Alameda Caiion in the month of June; while the grading of the San Fran- 
cisco and Alameda Railroad was completed, to San Leandro in January, and the 
laying of the track finished in March, the first trip being made from San Francisco, 
by boat and cars, to San Leandro in an hour and a quarter. In April the contract 
for the completion of the road to Haywards was let to C. D. Bates, and an opening 
excursion, free, was had August 25, 1865. On the 22d of March the Contra Costa 
Railroad, to connect the San Francisco and Alameda Railroad with Oakland and 
San Pablo, was incorporated, but they never did any work on the proposed line. It 
has since been effectually carried out by the Central Pacific Railroad Company. 

It was in this year that the dastardly assassination of President Lincoln, on April 
14, 1865, cast the whole nation into grief Alameda County was not a whit behindhand 
in her expression of sorrow, all being naturally impelled by the same feeling of woe, 
and loud were the execrations hurled at the foul murderer. 

Guillermo Castro obtained a confirmation to the lands of the San Lorenzo 
Rancho, April 29, 1865, and a United States patent was issued therefor, while, not 
long after, the settlers on the San Ramon Rancho paid the sum of one hundred and 
eleven thousand dollars to Horace W. Carpentier for his title thereto. This splendid 
estate had originally cost Mr. Carpentier, we understand, the immense sum of one 
sack of flour ! 

Enterprise and activity reigned supreme throughout the year 1867. During it 
were established a County Teachers' Association ; the incorporation of the Oakland 
Bank of Savings; the location of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute; the reorganiza- 
tion of the County Agricultural Society; and the founding of the Agricultural College. 
The principal occurrence in 1868 was the earthquake of October 21st, which was first 
felt a few minutes before eight o'clock in the morning. In Alameda County, which 
appears to have been its center, it was particularly destructive, and great damage was 
sustained in nearly all of the interior and valley towns, for particulars of which we 
refer the reader to the township histories; it is sufficient to say here that it was the 
most prodigious shaking that the county had ever had since its creation. 

On the 29th October, 1869, the last rail of the Pacific Railroad was laid in Oak- 
land, and thus the shores of the two mighty oceans were connected; and hardly had 
the ring of the final blow upon the last spike been hushed ere a distressing accident 
occurred near San Leandro, full particulars of which are given elsewhere. 

It is now the proper time to show, in one branch of her products, the prominent 
place which Alameda County had taken. In the year 1868 J. Lusk, whose farm is 
within four miles of Oakland, cultivated fifty, acres of raspberries, and derived from 
them a very handsome profit. He sent to market ninety tons of fresh raspberries, 
which were sold at an average of ten cents per pound, or a total of eighteen thousand 
dollars. He manufactured into jams, jellies, and pie-fruit twenty tons, which realized 
in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars. He made fifteen thousand gallons of 
wine, worth twenty-five cents per gallon, at the lowest figure, six thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. He also manufactured ten thousand gallons of vinegar, worth 
twenty cents per gallon, or two thousand dollars; making the total product of his 

Early History and Settlement. 127 

ranch thirty-six thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. The cost of cultivating, 
picking, canning, barreling, and getting to nnarket may be estimated at twenty thou- 
sand dollars, leaving for the year's labor the handsome sum of sixteen thousand two 
hundred and fifty dollars. 

In the year 1870 there was another minfng excitement in Brooklyn Township, 
but, like the last, it came to naught, although it was rumored there were indications 
of the precious metals and coal. It is said that some parties actually paid as high as 
twenty thousand dollars for a piece of ground which was not worth half the money. 
On June 22, 1870, the consolidation of the Central Pacific of California with the 
Western Pacific "Railroad, under the name of the Central Pacific Railroad, with a capital 
stock of one hundred millions of dollars, was effected, and thus was the business of the 
two lines simplified. In November of this year the beet sugar mill at Alvarado com- 
menced operations, with a capital stock of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, 
while about the same time the San Jos^ Mission Land Company was organized with 
a capital stock of one million two hundred j.nd fifty thousand dollars. The plan of 
the association was to purchase a certain tract of land, comprising about five thou- 
sand acres of the tract known as the San Josd Mission lands, and to improve and 
distribute the same among the shareholders; also to raise a fund for the purpose of 
constructing and endowing two colleges, one for males and the other for females, 
should the Order of Odd Fellows locate one at San Jos^ Mission and the other at 
Decoto. The intention of the company, however, was not carried out, but the Wash- 
ington College at Washington Corners was established. 

In this year S. B. Martin chartered the Archer, and, loading her with wheat, dis- 
patched her direct to Liverpool, a new departure, and one which did away with the 
exorbitant charges of middle-men; besides, it was the first venture of the kind 
in the county. 

During the winter of 1871-72 much damage was done by rain and floods in the 
lower end of the county, the streets of Mission San Josd being converted into rushing 
brooks, while a large area of land was inundated. In the year 1873 Oakland 
was chosen to be the future county seat by a majority of nine hundred and 
eighty-five votes of the people, the transactions in regard to which are all detailed 
elsewhere; while in this year, too, there were surveyors at work on the proposed nar- 
row guage road to Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County. 

In this year a company of Scotchmen, through James Barr Robertson, pur- 
chased from E. L. Beard, of Mission San Jos4 eighteen thousand acres of salt marsh 
between Alviso and Alvarado, with the intention of reclaiming it and putting it under 
cultivation, but only some four or five thousand acres were ever brought into subjec- 
, tion and placed under crop. 

Henceforward the history of Alameda County will be found especially noted in the 
different chapters into which we have divided our volume; but ere bidding farewell 
to this section of the work we would wish to remark that the cold weather of an 
almost rainless winter has passed, and the summer season is upon us, and all nature is 
aglow. The great sun pours down his ripening rays and fills the valleys with light 
and heat. The mountains are enriched with purple wreaths and they bathe their 
temples with the cool west winds. The maturing grain overtops the fences an i 

128 History of Alameda County, California. 

waving wealth is visible on every hand. From the Sierras to the sea, from Siskiyou 
to San Diego, the glorious land is rejoicing in a profusion of wealth not known to 
Egypt or the farthest Indies. Stand back and let the grand procession of her riches 
pass ! Gold and grain, wine and wool, she produces in increasing plenty. Look at 
the quality and abundance of her hay crop; see how that speck of cotton is growing 
in size and whitening her valleys; see tobacco springing up over all her broad expanse. 
The corn-stalk is the cereal giant of her fields. The growth and variety of her orchards 
are without limit, and her vegetable products are justly her pride. There is abun- 
dance of fish in her waters; her dairy products are of superior quality, and her mount- 
ains teem with untold wealth of ores. 

" The Land of Gold " is justly her legend, for she is golden in her cereals and 
her commercial position, as well as in her ores. She luxuriates in vine-clad hills and 
dewy meadows. Her peaceful homes nestle in the foot-hills and pleasantly dot the 
plains; she is a Ibvely land; she is a healthy land; she is a wealthy land; she is a 
great land. We love this gorgeous and wondrous land of ours and ring her praise in 
an altered couplet, 

Far westward lies a land of wondrous fame, 
By nature blest. California is her name. 

We love to climb her sloping mountains, gaze upon the beauty of her voluptuous 
hills, and seek the sweet pastures of her smiling valleys. There is welcome expressed 
everywhere in her pleasant features. In whatever garb she presents herself, be it the 
vernal hue of .spring or the bronze of autumn, She is beautiful. The seasons and 
changes make no difference in our passion for her, but we now rejoice with exultant 
nature and celebrate her opaline beauties. The evergreen oak, the cypress and the 
willow, furnish at all times rich embroidery for her ample robe, be it green, yellow, or 

The growing crops are of all colors from emerald to gold, while fields of new- 
mown hay stand out in light relief on the hill-sides. The shadows of the high fog- 
clouds chase each other over the dimpled mountains, the breath of perfume, heightened 
by the hay, permeates the air, and the song of the meadow lark makes day vocal. 'Tis 
the glorious month of June. Spring has flown and left behind her rich legacies of 
ripening fruits, grains and grasses. The face of the earth is changing from richest 
green to all the shades of the opal. The evergreen trees and shrubs are assuming a 
broader contrast with the earth from which they spring; the arroyos have contracted 
their streams or hidden their placid treasures in their bosoms, while the great rivers 
are swelling with the melted snows that have mantled the great Sierras; the waving 
hnes of heat dance perceptibly in the moist atmosphere; the birds assume higher 
flights and become more joyous in their warblings, for they observe the plentitude of 
the ripening fruits on a thousand trees and shrubs, and with delight in their little 
bodies they fly from mound to mound of the sweet-scented hay. The dome of 
Heaven has lifted higher to make room for the increased power and volume of nature 
as the great earth moves on its momentous errand of pursuing the setting sun, and 
rolling back on the parched earth the cooling vapors and air-tides of the boundless 
Pacific. The student is now enjoying his holidays, and the man of business seeljs 
immunity from his daily routine of thought and toil in sweet communion with nature. 

Early History and Settlement. 129 

It will now be in order to climb and camp, and from mountain heights spy out the 
beauty and wonders of the land. To the man who has not " done " California, new 
and varied scenes constantly unfold themselves. There is no want of invitations from 
nature. He may seek the high Sierras or go look upon Yosemite's wondrous walls, 
falls, and valleys. He can rusticate within the foot-hills or wander among the mines. 
He may betake himself to the fragrant orange groves of the south, or enjoy a trip to 
the lakes of the north He can scale Shasta's or Diablo's heights and view the broad 
expanse of land and sea. Many healing and pleasure-seeking springs invite him 
thither. The cherry orchards, the hay ricks, and the grain fields have their attact- 
tions. Sweet contemplation may be secured up the mouth of a canon. 

Without indulging in further speculation let us cross the bosom of the broad bay 
and betake ourselves where fancy leads. The adventures will be sweetened and the 
surprises more to be remembered. With a heart uncharged with anticipation we are 
prepared to enjoy every feature that presents itself to our admiring gaze. The bay's 
broad sheen, with its pride of shipping and island domes is a picture of its kind un- 
surpassed in the world. Tall Tamalpais directly to the north and Diablo's rounded 
peak to the east attract our attention. It is the fashion now to visit the latter and 
gaze on the adjacent valleys, the far Sierras and the boundless ocean. Monte 
Diablo I What a name ! Has it dark and dismal caves, or is it the abode of demons? 
It will be found harmless in its inhabitants but its dimensions will gradually grow. 
That round lump of lifted earth is seventy-five miles in circumference at its base, 
around which nestle lovely valleys. We pass that beautiful City of the Bay, Oakland; 
and we seek the mountain's height. The drive over mountain and through valley is 
one of picturesque majesty. We gradually ascend the mountain by the winding road- 
way and the world is at your feet. To the east are the heavier-supporting Sierras; to 
the south the great bay and fruitful plains; to the north the boundless regions stretch- 
ing towards Oregon; and to the west the mighty ocean. We see the thread-like 
Sacramento and the tortuous San Joaquin. The bay valleys — the Alameda and 
Santa Clara — are filled with exhalations from the bay and ocean, and seem to sleep 
in a shroud of haze. That beautiful valley to the south — -'tis the rich Amador — -looks 
Hke a lake of light. Let us conjure up a picture. 

In one of the little valleys, sitting near a spring at whose grateful fountain we 
slake our thirst, we meet a man of venerable appearance, but by no means "a feeble or 
tottering frame. We soon see that English is not his native tongue. He is of the 
proud Castillian race, and his tale is a remarkable one. Freely he narrates his event- 
ful history. 

" No one can tell you of this land better than I. Once affluence was mine. No 
■ one of the original possessors of the soil owned more leagues, could boast of hand- 
somer valleys or count larger herds. My father was a native of Spain. I was born 
in San Francisco in the year 1779, and am now a century and four years of age. The 
grand city over by the sea has no older son. This mountain which has become the 
resort of thousands, and whose name is spreading over the world, I was the first white 
man to tread and explore. The name of Amador was once a host in itself Here I 
hunted Indians with my soldiers, and brought them to the mission to learn the arts 
of civilization and the gospel of Salvation. This mountain was christened by me. 

130 History of Alameda County, California. 

I will tell you the circumstance under which its name was given. I had my soldiers 
here in ambush watching for the Indians. One dark night a frightened sentinel came 
rushing to my tent, and told me he had seen an apparition and thought he was pur- 
sued by the devil. This was in a monte thicket. We had previously given the place 
no name, and the incident was suggestive. It ever since has been called Monte 

" Have you no children ? " 

" Many — they count by the score and number three generations. My children 
and grandchildren and their sons and daughters are scattered all over the State, and 
with one of them, in a humble cabin yonder I lived for years. My progeny is num- 
erous, but my glory has departed. Amador was the friend of the Americans. They 
now possess my lands. They are wealthy and prosperous, have great names, while I 
pine in obscurity. The native Californian has a sad tale to tell and no one a more 
doleful one than myself" 



= I m 



^wTlnfll^^^i^ * 




Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 131 





WHEN the present century had but come of age, Mexico ceased to be a portion of 
the Spanish realm, and plunged, by itself, into the undiscovered mysteries of 
Statecraft. Iturbide, under the title of August I., was elected by the popular 
voice Constitutional Emperor, May 19, 1822, and after reigning for a brief peribd 
was forced to abdicate during the revolution headed by General Santa Ana in 1823. 
He, however, returned to the government of his Empire, artd lost both his crown and 
his head. 

About this time California had found extreme favor in the jealous eyes of three 
great powers, namely, France, the United States of America, and Great Britain; we 
have elsewhere shown what the Russians did on the coast, and how they actually 
gained a foothold at Bodega and Fort Ross, in Sonoma County. In the year 181 8, 
Governor Sola received a communication from Friar Marquinez, of Guadalaxara, in 
Old Spain, wherein he informs His Excellency of the rumors of war between the 
United States and Spain, while, in February of the following year, Father Jose San- 
chez, writes to the same official that there is a report abroad of the fitting out of an 
American expedition in New Mexico. Both of these epistles remark that California 
is the coveted prize. Great Britain wanted it, it is said, for several reasons, the chief 
of which was, that in the possession of so extended a coast line, she would have 
the finest harbors in the world for her fleets. 

In the meantime that epidemic so chronic to Mexico, a revolution, had broken 
out in the year 1836, but nothing of interest occurred in respect to the portion of Cal- 
ifornia of which we write save the departure of a few of the settlers to join the oppos- 
ing faction-s. While this strife was being maintained, Juan B. Alvarado was appointed 
Governor of California, an office he held until December, .1842, before when the dif- 
ferences between the Government and the revolutionists had been arranged. 

In the month of September, 1842, Commodore Ap Catesby Jones, then in com- 
mand of the United States fleet, became possessed of two newspapers which would 
appear to have caused him to take immediate action. One of these, published in New 
Orleans, stated that California had been ceded by Mexico to Great Britain in consid- 
eration of the sum of seven millions of dollars; the other, a Mexican publication, 
caused him to believe that war had been declared between the two countries. The 
sudden departure of two of the British vessels strengthened him in this belief, and 
that they were en route for Panama to embark soldiers from the West Indies for the 
occupation of California. To forestall this move of " perfidious Albion," Commodore 
Jones left Callao, Peru, on September 7, 1842, and crowded all sail, ostensibly for the 
port of Monterey, but when two days out, his squadron hove to, a council of the 

132 History of Alameda County, California. 

captains of the flagships Cyane and Dale was held, when the decision was come to 
that possession should be taken of California at all hazards, and afterwards abide by 
the consequences whatever they might be. Writing from Panama under date Septem- 
ber 23, 1842, an officer of the last-named vessel tells the story of these movements in 
the following words : " We sailed from Callao on the 7th of September in company 
with the United States -axvA Cyane sloop, but on the tenth day out, the 17th, separated, 
and bore up for this port. Just previous to our departure, two British ships-of-war, 
the razee Dublin, fifty guns, and the sloop-of-war Champion, eighteen guns, sailed 
thence on secret service. This mysterious movement of Admiral Thomas elicited a 
hundred comments and conjectures as to his destination, the most probable of which 
seemed to be that he was bound for the northwest coast of Mexico, where it is sur- 
mised that a British settlement (station) is to be located in accordance with a secret 
convention between the Mexican and English Governments, and it is among the on dits 
in the squadron that the frigate United States, Cyane, and Dale are to rendezvous as 
soon as possible at Monterey, to keep an eye on John Bull's movements in that 

These rumors were all strengthened by the fact that eight hundred troops had 
been embarked at Mazatlan in February, 1842, by General Mjcheltorena, to assist the 
English, it was apprehended, to carry out the secret treaty whereby California was to 
be handed over to Great Britain. Of these troops, who were mostly convicts, Mich- 
eltorena lost a large percentage by desertion, and after much delay and vexation, 
marched out of Mazatlan on July 25, 1842, with but four hundred and fifty of the 
original number. He arrived at San Diego August 25, 1842. When between Los 
Angeles and Santa Barbara on his northward march, with his army reduced to but 
three hundred from still further desertions, at eleven o'clock on the night of the 24th 
of October, he received the astounding intelligence that Commodore Jones had 
entered the port of Monterey, the capital of the Territory, with the frigate United 
States and corvette Cyane, had landed an armed force, had hauled down the Mexican 
national ensign, had hoisted that of the United States in its place, and had issued a 
proclamation declaring California to be thenceforth belonging to the United States of 
America. These last-mentioned startling occurrences took place, October 19, 1842; 
on the 28th, having reflected on this latest achievement, the Commodore became con- 
vinced of the perpetration of an error in judgment, therefore lowered the ''stars and 
stripes", replaced it with the flag of Mexico, and after saluting it on the day following 
weighed anchor for Mazatlan, whence he reported his actions to Washington. 

On hearing of the capture of Monterey, "the Mexican General withdrew to the 
mission of San Fernando, where he remained for some time, but finally, on the hori- 
zon being cleared, transferred himself and his staff to Los Angeles, and in that city 
entertained Commodore Jones on January 19, 1843. 

Upon the receipt of the intelligence of the rather energetic proceeding of Jones, 
at Washington, his recall was demanded by the Meijfican Envoy there, which wq.s 
complied with, and Captain Alexander J. Dallas instructed to proceed to relieve hjm 
of the command on the Pacific Coast. This officer at once took his departure by vvay 
of Panama to Callao to assume his new functions, anc} on arrival took the Erie ^p 
old store ship, and proceeded in search of the Cornmodore, who had, iri the meayi- 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 133 

time, received intelligence of the turn affairs had taken, kept steering from port to 
port, and finally touching at Valparaiso, sailed for home around the Horn. The reign 
of Captain Dallas was short; he died on board the frigate Savannah, at Callao, June 
3, 1844, and was succeeded by Commodore John Drake Sloat. 

The adjustment of the revolution of 1836 left misunderstandings rife between the 
two highest functionaries in the Department of California; the civil and military 
authority could not agree, each therefore complained of the other to the Central Gov- 
ernment, who secretly dispatched Micheltorena to assume the two-fold power of 
Civil and Military Governor in place of Governor Alvarado and General Vallejo, and 
not, as it was thought, to perfect a scheme whereby California was to be handed over 
to the fostering care of a monarchy. On seeing the turn which affairs had taken 
against them, Alvarado and Vallejo agreed to lay aside their bickerings and make 
common cause against Micheltorena, who they designated an usurper, and aided by 
General Castro, drive him from the soil they deemed he tainted. This triumvirate 
declared California independent, and declared war against the representative of Mex- 
ico. General Micheltorena, having seen the gage of battle thrown in his teeth, took 
the field to bring to speedy end the insurrection ; he advanced to within twelve miles 
of the Pueblo de San Jos^ but discovering that district to be up in arms, he beat a 
retreat, and halted not until he reached San Juan Bautista, where he was attacked and 
routed in spite of a stubborn defense, in November, 1844. From this blow, he never 
rallied, and at last, in Fe'bruary, 1845, he paid eleven thousand dollars for a passage 
on board the bark Don Quixote, to be taken to San Bias, a seaport town on the west- 
ern coast of the province of Guadalaxara in Mexico. He joined this craft at San 
Pedro with about a hundred of his officers and men, and then proceeding to Mon- 
terey, where touching, the General's lady with several others, were taken on board, 
and sail was set for a more propitious shore. Strife having terminated, Pio Pico was 
voted to the Gubernatorial Chair, and Jos^ Castro appointed General. 

In the month of March, 1845, Brevet-Captain John Charles Fremont departed 
from Washington for the purpose of organizing a third expedition for the topograph- 
ical survey of Oregon and California, which, having effected, he left Bent's Fort 
on or about April i6th, his command consisting of sixty-two men, among them 
being Kit Carson and six Delaware Indians. Passing through the Sierra Nevada in 
December, they arrived at Sutter's Fort on the loth of that month, which, after a stay 
of only two days, they left, for Fremont was in search of a missing party of his explor- 
ers. It is not possible here to follow him in his long wanderings over mountain and 
through valley on his humane undertaking, but not being able to discover the where- 
abouts of Talbot and Walker, and having lost most of his horses, or consumed the 
greater number of his cattle, forty head of which he had procured from Sutter, he 
determined to retrace his steps to the hospitable dwelling of that pioneer which Jie 
reached, January 15, 1846. On the 17th Fremont left Sutter's Fort in a launch for 
Yerba Buena, where he arrived on the 20th; the 21st saw him and Captain Hinckley 
sailing up the Bay of San Francisco in a whale-boat to the embarcadero at Alviso, 
and on the 22d they proceeded to the Pueblo of San Jose, where they received intelli- 
gence of the lost expedition being encamped on the San Joaquin, whither he at once 
dispatched two parties under Kit Carson to guide them into Santa Clara Valley. 

134 History of Alameda County, California. 

Fremont and Hinckley then visited the New Almaden quicksilver mines, and returned 
to San Francisco. On the 24th Captain Fremont was once more on the move. He 
started from Verba Buena and that evening halted at the rancho of Francisco Sanchez; 
the following evening he passed on the hill-sjde near the laguna, between Sunol and 
Pleasanton; the next night at the home of Don Josd Joaquin Gomez, on the Canada 
of San Juan, and on the morning of January 27, 1846, reached Monterey. In com- 
pany with Thomas O. Larkin, United States Consul, he now paid a visit to General 
Castro, and stated the cause of his journey — he was in need of provisions, and 
requested that his party might pass unmolested through the country. The request 
was granted verbally; however, when asked for the necessary passport in writing the 
General excused himself on the plea of indisposition, but hinted that no further assur- 
ance was needed than " his word." A call was also made upon the Prefect of the 
district, Don Manuel Castro, the same statement made, and he too declared every- 
thing to be " all right." Fremont then received funds and provisions from the Consul 
and made all haste to San Josd, where he was joined by his band, safely led from the 
San Joaquin by Kit Carson, but not finding there such stores as were needed by him, 
he determined to retrace his steps to Monterey, and, after some fifteen or twenty 
days, camped in the Santa Clara Valley, on the ranch of Captain William Fisher, 
known as the Laguna Seca. 

While here a Mexican made his appearance and laid claim to certain of Fremont's 
horses on the bold plea that they had been stolen; now observe how from a little great 
things spring! On February 20th the Captain received a summons to appear before 
the Alcade of San ]os6 to answer to a charge of horse-stealing, an action which brought 
forth, the next day, the following characteristic communication, which the reader will, 
no doubt, find interesting. 

Camp near Road to Santa Cruz, February 21, 1846. 
Sir : I received your communication of the 20th informing me that a complaint 
had been lodged against me in your office for refusing to deliver up certain animals of 
my band, which are claimed as having been stolen from this vicinity about two months 
since, and that the plaintiff further complains of having been insulted in my camp. It 
can be proven on oath by thirty men here present that the animals pointed out by 
the plaintiff have been brought in my band from the United States of North Americj. 
The insult of which he complains, and which was authorized by myself, consisted in 
his being driven or ordered to immediately leave the camp. After having been 
detected in endeavoring to obtain animals under false pretenses, he should have been 
well satisfied to escape without a severe horse-whipping. There are four animals in 
my band which were bartered from the Tulare Indians by a division of my party which 
descended the San Joaquin Valley. I was not then present, and if any more legal 
owners present themselves, these shall be immediately given or delivered upon proving 
property. It may save you trouble to inform you that, with this exception, all the 
animals in my band have been purchased and paid fOr. You will readily understand 
that my duties will not permit me to appear before the magistrates in your towns on 
the complaint of every straggling vagabond who may chance to visit my camp. You 
inform me that unless satisfaction be immediately made by the delivery of the animals 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 135 

in question, the complaint will be forwarded to the Governor. I beg you will at the 
same time inclose to his Excellency a copy of this note. 

" I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"J. C. Fremont, U. S. Army. 
"To Sr. Don Dolores Pacheco, Alcalde of San Josd" 

Hence, the intrepid Pathfinder moved, by easy marches, in the direction of the 
Santa Cruz Mountains, which he crossed about ten miles from San Jos^ at the gap 
where the Los Gatos Creek enters the plain; he then made his way towards the coast, 
and on the ist of March encamped on the rancho of Edward Petty Hartnell. While 
here he received, late in the afternoon of the 5th, at the hands of a Mexican officer, 
attended by an armed escort, a dispatch from Don Manuel Castro, Prefect of the 
district, charging him (Fremont) with having entered the towns and villages under his 
(the Prefect's) jurisdiction, in "contempt of the laws of the Mexican Government, and 
ordering him out of the country, else compulsory measures would be taken to compel 
him to do so. On the receipt of this communication Fremont did not display much 
hesitancy in arriving at a conclusion. That evening he struck his camp, and ascend- 
ing " Hawks Peak," a rough looking mountain in the Salinas Range, about thirty miles 
from Monterey, and two thousand feet above the sea level, commenced the construc- 
tion of a rude fort, protected by felled trees, and stripping one standing near by of its 
branches nailed the "Star Spangled Banner" to its highest point — full forty feet above 
their heads— and the morning of the 6th found him awaiting further developments. 

Let us now take a glance at the movements of Castro. On the day that Fremont 
had fairly established himself on Hawks Peak the General communicated the accom- 
panying letter to the Minister of Marine in Mexico: "In my communication of the 
5th ultimo, I announced to you the arriva,l of a captain, at the head of fifty men, who 
came, as he said, by order of the Government of the United States, to survey the 
limits of Oregon. This person presented himself at my headquarters some days ago, 
accompanied by two individuals (Thos. O. Larkin, Consul, and Capt. William A. 
Leidesdorff, Vice-Consul), with the object of asking permission to procure provisions 
for his men that he had left in the mountains, which was given him, but two days ago, 
March 4th, I was much surprised at being informed that this person was only two 
days' journey from this place (Monterey). In consequence, I immediately sent him 
a coriimunication, ordering him, on the instant of its receipt, to put himself on the 
march and leave the department, but I have not received an answer, and in order to 
make him obey, in case of resistance, I sent out a force to observe their operations, 
and to-day, the 6th, I march in person to join it and to see that the object is attained. 
The hurry with which I undertake my march does not permit me to be more diffuse, 
and I beg that you will inform his Excellency, the President, assuring him that not 
only shall the national integrity of this party be defended with the enthusiasm ofgood 
Mexicans, but those who attempt to violate it will find an impregnable barrier in the 
valor and patriotism of every one of the Californians. Receive the assurance of my 
respect, etc. God and Liberty." 

We left Captain Fremont in his hastily constructed fort, every avenue to which 
was commanded by the trusty rifles of his men, calmly awaiting the speedy vengeance 

136 History of Alameda County, California. 

promised in the communication of the Prefect. To carry it out Don Jos^ had sum- 
moned a force of two hundred men to the field, strengthened by one or two cannon 
of small calibre, but nothing beyond a demonstration was attained. In the language 
of the late General Revere (then Lieutenant), " Don Jos^ was rather in the humor of 
that renowned King of France, who, with twenty thousand men, marched up the hill, 
and then marched down again." Castro's next move was the concocting of an epistle 
to Fremont, desiring a cessation of hostilities, and making the proposition that they 
should join forces, declare the country independent, and with their allied armies march 
against Governor Pio Pico, at that time at Los Angeles. To John Gilroy, an old Scotch 
settler, was entrusted the delivery of this exquisite piece of treachery. He reached 
Hawks Peak on the night of the loth, but found the fort untenanted. Fremont had 
wearied, after three days' waiting for General Castro's attack, which, not being made, 
he struck his camp, threw away all useless articles that might impede a forced march, 
and the morning of the nth found him in the valley of the San Joaquin. Gilroy, on 
his return related his tale of the camp-fires still alight, the discarded pack-saddles and 
no Fremont, a circumstance which so elated the courageous Castro that he at once 
resolved on attacking the fort, which he was the first to enter. After performing 
prodigies of valor and sacking the inclosure, he sat down on one of Fremont's left-off 
pack-saddles, and penned a dispatch to Monterey descriptive of the glorious victory 
he had gained, while his return need not be looked 'for until his promise of driving 
Fremont from the department, long ago given, should be fulfilled. 

And so matters for a time rested. The American settlers began to feel far from 
safe, and should the necessity for defense arise, no time should be lost in preparing 
for the emergency; their action was the cause of the raising of the Bear Flag. 

About June i, 1846, General Castro, with Lieutenant Francisco de Arci, his Sec- 
retary, left the Santa Clara Mission, where they had ensconced themselves after fol- 
lowing in Fremont's wake through that district, and, passing through Yerba Buena, 
crossed the bay to the Mission of San Rafael, and there collected a number of horses, 
which he directed Arci to take to Sonoma, with as many more as he could capture 
on the way, and from there proceed with all haste back to the Santa Clara Mission 
by way of Knight's Landing and Sutter's Fort. These animals were intended to be 
used by Castro against Fremont and Governor Pico, both of whom had questioned 
and defied his authority. On June 5th, Castro transferred his base of operations 
from Santa Clara to Monterey, but while en route back to Santa Clara on the 12th, 
he received the intelligence by special courier that his aide had been surprised and 
taken prisoner on the loth by a party of adventurers who had also seized a large 
number of the horses that he had in charge. Here was a dilemma ! Castro's cali- 
graphic education had been woefully neglected — it is said he could only paint his 
signature — and being without his amanuensis, he retraced his steps to Monterey, and 
there compounded a letter, with the assistance of Don Juan B. Alvarado, to the Pre- 
fect, Manuel Castro, saying that the time had come when their differences should be 
laid aside, and conjoint action takein for the defense and protection of their common 
country, at the same time requesting that he should collect as large a number of men 
and horses as he could and despatch them to Santa Clara, whither he then returned. 

When Lieutenant Arci left Sonoma with the caballada of horses and mares, 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 137 

crossing the dividing ridge, he passed up the Sacramento Valley to Knight's Land- 
ing on the left bank of the Sacramento River, about fifteen miles from the present 
Sacramento City [this ferry was kept by William Knight, who left Missouri, 
May 6, 1841, and arrived in California on the loth of November of the same 
year. Receiving a grant of land, he settled at the point known as Knight's Land- 
ing, Yolo County, of to-day, and died at the mines on the Stanislaus River in Novem- 
ber, 1849], on reaching which he met Mrs. Knight, to whom, on account of her being 
born of the country, and therefore thought to be trustworthy, he confided the secret 
of the expedition. To contain such a secret was too much for any ordinary femi- 
nine bosom; she imparted the news to her husband, who, in assisting the officer to 
cross his horses, gave him fair words so as to lull suspicion, and then, bestriding his 
fleetest horse, made direct for Captain Fremont's camp, at the confluence of the 
Feather and Yuba Rivers, where he arrived early in the morning of June 9th. Here 
Knight, who found some twenty settlers, that had arrived earlier than he, discussing 
matters, communicated to Fremont and those assembled the fact that Lieutenant 
Arci had, the evening before, the 8th of June, crossed at his landing, bound to Santa 
Clara, via the Cosumnes River; that Arci had told Mrs. Knight, in confidence, that 
the animals he had in charge were to be used by Castro in expelling the American 
settlers from the country, and that it was also the intention to fortify Bear River Pass 
above the ranch of William Johnson, thereby putting a stop to immigration, a menace 
of Castro's which was strengthened by the return to Sutter's Fort, on June 7th, of a 
force that had gone out to chastise the Mokelumne Indians, who had threatened to 
burn the settlers' crops, being incited thereto, presumably, by Castro. 

Fremont, while encamped at the Buttes, near the Yuba and Feather Rivers, 
was visited by nearly all the settlers, and gleaned vast stores of fresh informa- 
tion hitherto unknown to him. From them he learned that the greater proportion of 
foreigners in the country had become Mexican citizens, and had married native Cali- 
fornian ladies, for the sake of procuring land, and through them had become pos- 
sessed of deep secrets supposed to be known only to the prominent people. Another 
was that a convention had been held at the San Juan Mission to decide which of the 
two nations, America or Great Britain, should guarantee protection to California for 
certain privileges and considerations. In this regard. Lieutenant Revere says: " I 
have been favored by an intelligent member of the Junta with the following authentic 
report of the substance of Pico's address to that illustrious body: — 

"Excellent Sirs: To what a deplorable condition is our country reduced! 
Mexico, professing to be our mother and our protectress, has given us neither arms 
nor money, nor the material of war for defense. She is not likely to do any- 
thing in our behalf, although she is quite willing to afflict us with her extortion- 
ate minions, who come hither in the guise of soldiers and civil officers, to harass 
and oppress our people. We possess a glorious country, capable of attaining a phys- 
ical and moral greatness corresponding with the grandeur and beauty which an 
Almighty hand has stamped on the face of our beloved California. But although 
nature has been prodigal, it cannot be' denied that we are not in a position to avail 
ourselves of her bounty. Our population is not large, and is sparsely scattered over 
valley and mountain, covering an immense area of virgin soil, destitute of roads, and 

138 History of Alameda County, California. 

traversed with difficulty; hence it is hardly possible to collect an army of any considera- 
ble force. Our people are poor, as well as few, and cannot well govern themselves 
and maintain a decent show of sovereign power. Although we live in the midst of 
plenty, we lay up nothing, but tilling the earth in an imperfect manner, all our time is 
required to provide subsistence for ourselves and our families. Thus circumstanced, 
we find ourselves suddenly threatened by hordes of Yankee immigrants, who have 
already begun to flock to our country, and whose progress we cannot arrest. Already 
have the wagons of that perfidious people scaled the almost inaccessible summits of 
the Sierra Nevada, crossed the entire continent and penetrated the fruitful valley of 
the Sacramento. What that astonishing people will next undertake I cannot say, 
but in whatever enterprise they embark they will be sure to prove successful. Already 
have these adventurous land-voyagers spread themselves far and wide over a country 
which seems suited to their tastes. They are cultivating farms, establishing vine- 
yards, erecting mills, sawing lumber, building workshop.s, and doing a thousand other 
things which seem natural to them, but which Californians neglect or despise. What, 
then, are we to do ? Shall we remain supine while these daring strangers are over- 
running our fertile plains and gradually outnumbering and displacing us? Shall 
these mercenaries go on unchecked, until we shall become strangers in our own 
land ? We cannot successfully oppose them by our own unaided power, and the 
swelling tide of immigration renders the odds against us more formidable every day. 
We cannot stand alone against them, nor can we creditably maintain our indepen- 
dence even against Mexico; but there is something we can do which will elevate our 
country, strengthen her at all points, and yet enable us to preserve our identity and 
remain masters of our own soil. Perhaps what I am about to suggest may seem 
to some faint-hearted and dishonorable. But to me it does not seem so. It is the 
last hope of a feeble people, struggling against a tyrannical government which claims 
their submission at home, and threatened by bands of avaricious strangers from 
without, voluntarily to connect thefnselves with a power able and willing to defend 
and. preserve them. It is the right and the duty of the weak to demand support 
from the strong, provided the demand be made upon terms just to both parties. I 
see no dishonor in this last refuge of the oppressed and powerless, and I boldly avow 
that such is the step that I would have California take. There are two great 
powers in Europe which are destined to divide between them the unappropriated 
countries of the world. They have large fleets and armies not unpractised in the art 
of war. Is it not better to connect ourselves with one of those powerful nations than 
to struggle on without hope, as we are now doing ? Is it not better that one of them 
should be invited to send a fleet and an army to defend and protect California, 
rather than we should fall an easy prey to the lawless adventurers who are over- 
running our beautiful country ? I pronounce for annexation to France or England, 
and the people of California will never regret having taken my advice. They will no 
longer be subjected to the trouble and grievous exposure of governing themselves; 
and their beef and their grain, which they produce in such abundance, would find a 
ready market among the new-comers. But I hear some one say; 'No monarchy!' 
But is not monarchy better than anarchy ? Is not existence in some shape better 
than annihilation ? No monarchy ! aiod what is there so terrible in a monarchy ? 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 139 

Have we not all lived under a monarchy far more despotic than that of France or 
England, and were not our people happy under it? Have not all the leading men 
among our agriculturists been bred beneath the royal rule of Spain, and have they 
been happier since the mock republic of Mexico has supplied its place ? Nay, does 
not every man abhor the miserable abortion christened the Republic of Mexico, and 
look back with regret to the golden days of the Spanish monarchy ? Let us restore 
that glorious era. Then may our people go quietly to their ranchos, and live there 
as of yore, leading a thoughtless and merry life, untroubled by politiics or cares of 
State, sure of what is their own, and safe from the incursions of the Yankees, who 
would soon be forced to retreat to their own country." 

It was a happy thing for California, and, as the sequel proved, for the Govern- 
ment of the United States, that a man was found at this juncture whose ideas were 
more enlightened and consonant with the times than those of the rulers of his country, 
both civil and military. Patriotism was half his soul; he therefore could not silently 
witness the land of his birth sold to any monarchy, however old; and he rightly 
judged that, although foreign protection might postpone, it could not avert that 
assumption of power, which was beginning to make itself felt. Possessed at the time 
of no political power and having had early advantages above the common order, still 
his position was so exalted, and his character so highly respected by both the foreign 
and native population, that he had been invited to participate in the deliberations, 
of the Junta. This man was Don Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. Born in California, he 
commenced his career in the army as an alferes, or ensign, and in this humble grade 
he volunteered, at the suggestion of the Mexican Government, with a command of 
fifty soldiers, to establish a colony on the north side of the Bay of San Francisco, 
for the protection of the frontier. He effectually subdued the hostile Indians inhab- 
iting that then remote region, and laid the foundation of a reputation for integrity, 
judgment, and ability unequaled by any of his countrymen. Though yet a young 
man, he had already filled the highest offices in the province, and had at this 
time retired to private life near his estates in the vicinity of the town of Sonoma. 
He did not hesitate to oppose with all his strength the views advanced by Pico 
and Castro. He spoke nearly as follows: — 

" I cannot, gentlemen, coincide in opinion with the military and civil function- 
aries who have advocated the cession of our country to France or England. It 
is most true that to rely any longer upon Mexico to govern and defend us would 
be idle and absurd. To this extent I fully agree with my distinguished colleagues. 
It is also true that we possess a noble country, every way calculated from position 
and resources to become great and powerful. For that reason I would not have 
her a mere dependency upon a foreign monarchy, naturally alien, or at least indif- 
ferent, to our interests and our welfare. It is not to be denied that feeble nations 
have, in former times, thrown themselves upon the protection of their powerful 
neighbors. The Britons invoked the aid of the warlike Saxons, and fell an easy prey 
to their protectors, who seized their lands and treated them like slaves. Long before 
that time feeble and distracted provinces had appealed for aid to the all-conquering 
arms of imperial Rome, and they were at the same time protected and subjugated by 
their grasping ally. Even could we tolerate the idea of dependence, ought we to go 

140 History of Alameda County, California. 

to distant Europe for a master? What possible sympathy could exist between us 
and a nation separated from us by two vast oceans ? But waving this insuperable 
objection, how could we endure to come under the dominion of a monarchy? For, 
although others speak highly of that form of government, as a free man I cannot do so. 
We are republicans — badly governed and badly situated as we are — still we are all, 
in sentiment, republicans. So far as we are governed at all, we at least profess to be 
self-governed. Who, then, that possesses true patriotism will consent to subject him- 
self and his children to the caprices of a foreign king and his official minions ? But, 
it is asked, if we do not throw ourselves upon the protection of France or England, 
what shall we do? I do not'come here to support the existing order of things, but 
I come prepared to propose instant and effective action to extricate our country from 
her present forlorn condition. My opinion is made up that we must persevere in 
throwing off the galling yoke of Mexico, and proclaim our independence of her 
forever. We have endured her official cormorants and her villainous soldiery until 
we can endure it no longer. All will probably agree with me that we ought at once 
to rid ourselves of what may remain of Mexican domination. But some profess to 
doubt our ability to maintain our position. To my mind there comes no doubt. Look 
at Texas and see how long she withstood the power of united Mexico. The resources 
of Texas were not to be compared with ours, and she was much nearer to her enemy 
than we are. Our position is so remote, either by land or sea, that we are in no 
danger from Mexican invasion. Why, then, should we hesitate still to assert our 
independence? We have indeed taken the first step, by electing our own Governor, 
but another remains to be taken. I will mention it plainly and distinctly — it is annex- 
ation to the United States. In contemplating this consummation of our destiny, I 
feel nothing but pleasure, and I ask you to share it. Discard old prejudices, disre- 
regard old customs, and prepare for the glorious change which awaits our country. 
Why should we shrink from incorporating ourselves with the happiest and freest 
nation in the world, destined soon to be the most wealthy and powerful ? Why 
should we go abroad for protection when this great nation is our adjoining neighbor? 
When we join our fortunes to hers, we shall not become subjects, but fellow-citizens, 
possessing all the rights of the people of the United States, and choosing our own 
federal and local rulers. We shall have a stable Government and just laws. California 
will grow strong and flourish, and her people will be prosperous, happy, and free. 
Look not, therefore, with jealousy upon the hardy pioneers who scale our mountains 
and cultivate our unoccupied plains, but rather welcome them as brothers who come 
to share with us a common destiny." 

Such was the substance of General Vallejo's observations; those who listened to 
him, however, were far behind in general knowledge and intelligence. His arguments 
failed to carry conviction to the greater number of his auditors, but the bold position 
taken by him was the course of an immediate adjournment of the Junta, no result 
having been arrived at concerning the weighty affairs on which they had met to 
deliberate. On his retirement from the Junta he embodied the views he had 
expressed in a letter to Don Pio Pico, and reiterated his refusal to participate in 
any action having for its end the adoption of any protection other than that of 
the United States. In this communication he also declared that he would never serve 

MiLiTATY Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 141 

under any Government which was prepared to surrender Cahfornia to an European 
power; he then retired to his estate, there to await the issue of events. 

We left William Knight at Fremont's camp, at the junction of the Yuba and 
Feather Rivers, where he had arrived on the morning of June 9, 1846, imparting his 
information regarding Lieutenant de Arci, his movements, and the intentions of Gen- 
eral Castro. At 10 a. m. of that day a party of eleven men, under the oldest settler, 
Ezekiel Merritt, started in pursuit of the Lieutenant and his horses. On arrival at 
Hock Farm they were joined by two more men, and, thereafter, having crossed the 
American River at " Sinclair's," reached Allen Montgomery's ranch, sixty miles from 
Fremont's camp at the Buttes, towards evening, and there supped. At this point they 
received the intelligence that Arci had reached Sutter's Fort on the 8th, and had that 
morning resumed his march, intending to camp that night at the ranch of Martin 
Murphy, twenty miles south on the Cosumnes River. Supper finished, and a short 
rest indulged in, the party were ones more In the saddle, being strengthened by 
recruiting Montgomery and another, making their total force fifteen in number. Pro- 
ceeding to within about five miles of Murphy's, they there lay concealed until day- 
light, when they were again on the move and halted within half a mile of the Lieuten- 
ant's camp. Unperceived, they now cautiously advanced to within a short distance of 
the Mexican officer and his party, when, suddenly charging, they, as well as the horses, 
were secured. Lieutenant Arci was permitted to retain his sword; each of his party 
was given a horse to carry him to Santa Clara; and a person traveling under his 
escort was permitted to retain six of the horses, as he claimed them as private prop- 
erty. The Americans at once returned to Montgomery's ranch with the captured 
animals in their possession, and there breakfasted; that night, the loth, they camped 
twenty-seven miles above Sutter's, on the rancho of Nicholas Allgier, a German, not 
far from the mouth of Bear River, and, in the morning, ascertaining that Fremont 
had moved his camp hither from the Buttes, they joined him on the i ith at 10 A. M., 
having covered a distance of one hundred and fifty miles in forty-eight hours. These 
are the details attending the capture of Arci, and reported to Castro on June 1 2, 1 846, 
when on his way from Monterey to Santa Clara. 

On arriving at Fremont's camp it was found that the garrison had been consid- 
erably augmented by the arrival of more settlers, who were all ardently discussing the 
events of the last two days and their probable results. After a full hearing it was 
determined by them that, having gone so far, their only chance of safety was in a 
rapid march to the town of Sonoma, to effect its capture, and to accomplish 
this before the news of the stoppage of Lieutenant Arci and his horses could 
have time to reach that garrison. It was felt that should this design prove 
successful all further obstacles to the eventual capture of the country would have 
vanished. The daring band then reorganized, still retaining in his position of Captain, 
Ezekiel Merritt. At 3 P. M., June 12th, under their leader, they left Fremont's camp 
for Sonoma, one hundred and twenty miles distant,- and, traveling all night,' on their 
way called at the ranch of William Gordon, about ten miles from the site of the pres- 
ent town of Woodland, in Yolo County, whom they desired to inform all Americans 
that could be trusted, of their intentions. At 9 A. M. on the 1 3th they reached Captain 
John Grigsby's, at the head of Napa Valley, and were there joined by William L. 

142 History of Alameda County, California. 

Todd, William Scott, and others. Here the band, which now mustered thirty-three 
men, was reorganized and addressed by Doctor. Robert Semple, of Benicia. Not 
desiring, however, to reach Sonoma till daylight, they halted here until midnight, 
when they once more resumed their march, and before it was yet the dawn of 
June 14, 1846, surprised and captured the garrison of Sonoma, consisting of 
six soldiers, nine pieces of artillery, and some small arms, etc., "all private property 
being religiously respected; and in generations yet to come their children's children 
may look back with pride and pleasure upon the commencement of a revolution which 
was carried on by their fathers' fathers upon principles as high and holy as the laws of 
eternal justice." 

Their distinguished prisoners were General Don Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Don Victor Prudon, Captain Don Salvador Vallejo, brother to 
the General, and Mr. Jacob Primer Leese, brother-in-law to the General. 

Let us now lay before the reader the account of this episode in Cahfornia's his- 
tory as described by the veteran General himself, at the Centennial exercises held at 
Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, July 4, 1876: — 

" I have now to say something of the epoch which inaugurated a new era for this 
country. A little before dawn on June 14, 1846, a party of hunters and trappers, with 
some foreign settlers, under command of Captain Merritt, Doctor Semple, and William 
B. Ide, surrounded my residence at Sonoma, and without iiring a shot, made prisoners 
of myself, then Commander of the northern frontier; of Lieutenant-Colonel Victor 
Prudon, Captain Salvador Vallejo and Jacob P. Leese. I should here state that down 
to October, 1845, I had maintained at my own expense a respectable garrison at 
Sonoma, which often, in union with the settlers, did good service in campaigns against 
the Indians; but at last, tired of spending money which the Mexican Government 
never refunded, I disbanded the force, and most of the soldiers who had constituted 
it left Sonoma. Thus in June, 1846, the Plaza was entirely unprotected, although 
there were ten pieces of artillery, with other arms and munitions of war. The parties 
who unfurled the Bear Flag were well aware that Sonoma was without defense, and 
lost no time in taking advantage of this fact, and carrying out their plans. Years 
before, I had urgently represented to the Government of Mexico the necessity of 
stationing a sufficient force on the frontier, else Sonoma would be lost, which would 
be equivalent to leaving the rest of the country an easy prey to the invader. What 
think you, my friend.^, were the instructions sent me in reply to my repeated demands 
for means to fortify the country ? These instructions were that I should at once force 
the immigrants to recross the Sierra Nevada, and depart from the territory of the 
Republic. To say nothing of the inhumanity of these orders, their execution was 
physically impossible — first, because the immigrants came in autumn, when snow 
covered the Sierra so quickly as to make a return impracticable. Under the circum- 
stances, not only I, but Commandante General Castro, resolved to provide the immi- 
grants with letters of security, that they might remain temporarily in the country. 
We always made a show of authority, but well convinced all the time that we had no 
power to resist the invasion which was coming upon us. With the frankness of a 
soldier I can assure you that the American immigrants never had .cause to complain 
of the treatment they received at the hands of either authorities or citizens. They 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 143 

carried us as prisoners to Sacramento, and kept us in a calaboose for sixty days or 
more, until the authority of the United States made itself respected, and the honor- 
able and humane Commodore Stockton returned us to our hearths." 

Upon the seizure of their prisoners the revolutionists at once took steps to 
appoint a Captain, who was found in the person of John Grigsby, for Ezekiel Merritt 
wished not to retain the permanent command; a meeting was then convened at the 
barracks, situated at the northeast corner of the Plaza, under the presidency of 
William B. Ide; Doctor Robert Semple bein'g Secretary. At this conference Semple 
urged the independence of the country, stating that having once commenced they 
must proceed, for to turn back was certain death. The convention had not been 
dissolved, however, when it was rumored that secret emissaries were being dispatched 
to the native rancheros to make them acquainted with recent events; such being the 
case it was deemed politic to transfer the prisoners to safe-keeping in Sutter's Fort. 
Prior to this being done, however, the captors and captives entered into a treaty or 
covenant, the English and Spanish of which we here append: — 

" We, the undersigned, having resolved to establish a government upon Repub- 
lican principles, in connection with others of our fellow-citizens, and having taken up 
arms to support it, we have taken three Mexican officers as prisoners. General M. G. 
Vallejo, Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Prudon, and Captain D. Salvador Vallejp; having 
formed and published to the world no regular plan of government, feel it our duty to 
say that it is not our intention to take or injure any person who is not found in 
opposition to the cause, nor will we take or destroy the property of private individuals- 
further than is necessary for our immediate support. 

Ezekiel Merritt. 

R. Semple. 
William Fallon. 
Samuel Kelsey. 

" Conste pr. la preste. qe. habiendo sido sorprendido pr. unanumeros a fuerza 
armada qe. me tomo prisionero y a los gefes y officiales qe. estaban de guarnicion en 
esta plaza de la qe. se apoder6 la espresada fuerza, habiendola encontrado absolutamte: 
indefensa, tanto yo. como los S. S. officiales qe. suscribero cpmprometemos nuestra 
palabra de honor de qe. estandobajo las garantias de prisionero de guerra, no tomar- 
emos las armas ni a favor ni contra repitida fuerza armada de quien hemos recibiro la 
intimacion del monto. y un escrito firmado qe. garantiza nuestras vidas, familias d^ 
intereses, y los de todo el vicindario de esta jurisdn. mientras no hagamos oposicion. 
Sonoma, Junio 14 de 184.6. M. G. Vallejo. 

VcR. Prudon. Salvador Vallejo." 

But to our tale! A guard consisting of William B. Ide, as Captain, Captain 
Grigsby, Captain Merritt, Kit Carson, William Hargrave, and five others, being, 
happily for their comfort, supplied with horses by General Vallejo, took up the line of 
march for Sutter's Fort, but not being used to " wars alarums," they, with peculiar 
inconsistency, on their first night's encampment placed neither sentry nor vidette and 
courted Morpheus in serene confidence. Indeed so sound was the sleep of all, that 

144 History of Alameda County, California. 

Jaun de Padilla and his party completely surrounded them during that night, and 
their chief absolutely held verbal communication with General Vallejo while his cap- 
tors slept. Padilla's mission was to inform his compatriots that he had then with him 
force strong enough to surprise and slay the Americanos before there was time for them 
to fly to arms, but that he did not wish to put the scheme into execution without the 
instructions and consent of the General, whose rank entitled him to the first place in 
such a demonstration. With a self-sacrifice that cannot be too highly commended, 
Vallejo refused his consent to the perpetration of so diabolical a plan, but stated that 
he would accompany his custodians, _ believing in their honor; that he would be 
detained but a short time, and finally advised Padilla and his followers to return to 
their homes and disperse, else their action would lead to disastrous consequences to 
all, without the attainment of any good. Of this episode Lieutenant Revere says: 
" This was not told to me by Vallejo, but by a person who was present, and it tallies 
well with the account given by the revolutionists themselves, several of whom informed 
me that no guard was kept by them that night, and that the prisoners might have 
easily escaped had they felt so inclined. The same person also told me that when 
Vallejo was called out of bed and made a prisoner in his own house, he requested to 
be informed as to the plans and objects of the revolutionists, signifying his readiness 
to collect and take command of a force of his countrymen in the cause of inde- 

Pushing on ahead of the main party, on the morning of the i6th June, Captain 
Merritt and Kit Carson carried the news of the taking of Sonoma and the capture of 
•the General and his officers. In the evening of that day they were handed over to 
the safe-keeping of Captain Sutter who with soldierly courtesy received them. 

On the seizure of the citadel of Sonoma, the national ensign of Mexico- was found 
floating from the flagstaff-head by the Independents, as they sometimes called them- 
selves; it had escaped their notice during the excitement of the morning. It was at 
once lowered, and then arose a discussion as to the manner of banner they should 
claim as their own. There were no two questions as to the necessity of their being a 
star in the ground-work, but finding that the " lone star " had been claimed by Texas, 
their ingenuity was taxed to the utmost, with what result we shall show below, to 
devise an appropriate flag; first, however, let us follow the diversity of opinions which 
obtain as to the date on which Sonoma was captured by the Independents. 

Mr. Thomas C. Lancey, whose communications to The Pioneer, a newspaper 
published in San Josd, have been read with much avidity, and is an authority on 
" early times," remarks: "There have been so many questions raised during this year 
(1878) in relation to the date of the hoisting of the 'Bear Flag,' who made it and 
what material it was manufactured from, as well as the date of the capture of Sonoma, 
and the number of men who marched that morning, that I shall give the statements 
of several who are entitled to a hearing, as they were actors in that drama. 

" The writer of this (Mr. Lancey) was here in 1 846, and served during the war, 
and has never left the country since, but was not one of the ' Bear Flag party,' but 
claims, from his acquaintance with those who were, to be able to form a proper opin- 
ion as to the correctness of these dates. Dr. Robert Semple, who was one of that 
party from the first, says, in his diary, that they entered Sonoma at early dawn on the 


Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 145 

14th of June, 1846, thirty-three men, rank and file. William B Ide, who was chosen 
their commander, says in his diary the same. Captain Henry L. Ford, another of 
this number, says, or rather his historian, S. H. W., of Santa Cruz, who I take to be 
the Rev. S. H. Willey, makes him say they captured Sonoma on the 12th of June 
with thirty-three men. Lieutenant William Baldridge, one of the party, makes the 
date the 14th of June, and number of men twenty-three. Lieutenant Joseph Warren 
Revere, of the United States ship Portsmouth, who hauled down the ' Bear Flag,' and 
hoisted the American flag on the 9th of July, and at a later date commanded the 
garrison, says the place was captured on the 14th of June." To these must be added 
the documentary proof produced above, fixing the date of the capture of General 
Vallejo and therefore the taking of Sonoma as June 14, 1846. 

Of the manufacture of the ensign, the same writer says : " A piece of cotton 
was obtained, and a man by the name of Todd proceeded to paint from a pot of red 
paint a star in the corner. Before he was finished, Henry L. Ford, one of the party, 
proposes to paint on the center, facing the star, a grizzly bear. This was unanimously 
agreed to, and the grizzly bear was painted accordingly. When it was done, the flag 
was taken to the flagstaff and hoisted amid the hurrahs of the little party, who swore 
to defend it with their lives." 

Lieutenant Revere says of it : "A flag was also hoisted, bearing a grizzly bear 
rampant, with one stripe below and the words ' Republic of California' above the bear, 
and a single star in the Union." This gentleman was he who hauled down the flag, 
July 9, 1846. 

The Western Shore Gazetteer has the following version: "On the 14th of June, 
1846, the little handful of men proclaimed California a free and independent republic, 
and on that day hoisted their flag, known as the ' Bear Flag;' this consisted of a strip 
of worn-out cotton domestic, furnished by Mrs. Kelly, bordered with red flannel, fur- 
nished by Mrs. John Sears, who had fled from some distant part of Sonoma for safety, 
upon hearing that war had been thus commenced. In the center of the flag was a repre- 
sentation of a bear, en passant, painted with Venetian red, and in one corner was 
painted a star of the same color. Under the bear were inscribed the words ' Republic 
of California,' put on with common writing ink. This flag is preserved by the Cali- 
fornia Pioneer Association, and may be seen at their rooms in San Francisco. It 
was designed and executed by W. L. Todd." 

Under the caption, " A True History of the Bear Flag,'' the Sonoma Democrat 
tells this story: " The rest of the revolutionary party remained in the town. Among 
them were three young men, Todd, Benjamin Duell, and Thomas Cowie. A few days 
after the capture, in a casual conversation between these young men, the matter of 
a flag came up. They had no authority to raise the American flag, and they deter- 
mined to make one. Their general idea was to imitate, without following too 
closely, their national ensign. Mrs. W. B. Elliott had been brought to the town 
of Sonoma by her husband from his ranch on Mark West Creek, for safety. 
The old Elliott cabin may be seen to this day on Mark West Creek, about a 
mile above the Spirings. From Mrs. Elliott, Ben. Duell got a piece of new red 
flannel, some white domestic, needles and thread. A piece of blue drilling was 
obtained elsewhere. From this material, without consultation with any one else, these 

146 History of Alameda County, California. 

three young men made the Bear Flag. Cowie had been a saddler. Duell had also 
served a short time at the same trade. To form the flag, Duell and Cowie sewed 
together alternate strips of red, white, and blue. Todd drew in the upper corner a 
star, and painted on the lower a rude picture of a grizzly bear, which was not stand- 
ing, as has been sometimes represented, but was drawn with head down. The bear 
was afterwards adopted as the design of the Great Seal of the State of California. 
On the original flag it was so rudely executed that two of those who saw it raised 
have told us that it looked more like a hog than a bear. Be that as it may, its mean- 
ing was plain — that the revolutionary party would, if necessary, fight their way 
through at all hazards. In the language of our informant, it meant that there was no 
back out ; they intended to fight it out. There were no halyards on the flagstaff which 
stood in front of the barracks. It was again reared, and the flag, which was soon to 
be replaced by that of the Republic, for the first time floated on the breeze." 

In addition to these authorities which we have quoted, none less distinguished 
than John S. Hittell, historiographer for the Society of California Pioneers, and H. 
H. Bancroft, the Pacific Coast historian, have fixed the date of raising the Bear Flag as 
June 1 2th and 15th respectively. The correctness of these dates was questioned by 
William Winter, Secretary of the Association of Territorial Pioneers of California, 
and Mr. Lartcey, and a correspondence was entered into with all the men known to 
be alive who were of that party, and others who were likely to be able to throw any 
light upon the subject. Among many answers received, we quote verbatim the fol- 
lowing portion of a letter from James G. Bleak: — 

"St. George, Utah, April 16, 1878. 
" To William Winter, Esq., Secretary of Association Territorial Pio- 
neers OF California — Dear Sir: Your communication of 3d instant is placed in my 
hands by the widow of a departed friend — James M. Ide, son of William B. — as I 
have at present in my charge some of his papers. In reply to your question asking 
for the ' correct date' of raising the Bear Flag at Sonoma, in 1 846, I will quote from 
the writing of William B. Ide, deceased : ' The said Bear Flag made of plain cotton 
cloth, and ornamented with the red flannel of a shirt from the back of one of the men, 
and christened by the ' California Republic,' in red paint letters on both sides, was 
raised upon the standard where had floated on the' breezes the Mexican Flag afore- 
time; it was the 14th of June, '46. Our whole number was twenty-four, all told. The 
mechanism of the flag was performed by William L. Todd, of Illinois. The grizzly 
bear was chosen as an emblem of strength and unyielding resistance." 

As possibly the best testimony that can be produced, we now publish the follow- 
ing letter from the artist himself, which he communicated to the Los, Angeles 
Express: — 

" Los Angeles, January 11, 1878. 

"Your letter of the 9th inst. came duly to hand, and in answer I have to say in 
regard to the making of the original Bear Flag of California, at Sonoma, in 1846, 
that when the Americans, who had taken up arms against the Spanish r^^ime had deter- 
mined what kind of a flag should be adopted, the following persons performed the 
work: Granville P. Swift, Peter Storm, Henry L. Ford, and myself; we procured, in 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 147 

the house where we made our headquarters, a piece of new, unbleached cotton 
domestic, not quite a yard wide, with strips of red flannel about four inches wide, fur- 
nished by Mrs. John Sears, on the lower side of the canvas. On the upper left hand 
corner was a star, and in the center was the image made to represent a bear fassant, 
so common in this country at the time. The bear and star were painted with paint 
made of linseed oil and Venetian red or Spanish brown. Underneath the bear were 
the words ' California Republic' The other persons engaged with me got the materi- 
als together, while I acted as artist. The forms of the bear and star and the letters 
were first lined out with pen and ink by myself, and the two forms were filled in with the 
red paint, but the letters with ink. The flag mentioned by Mr. Hittell with the bear 
rampant, was made, as I always understood, at Santa Barbara, and was painted black. 
Allow me to say that at that time there was not a wheelwright shop in California. 
The flag I painted I saw in the rooms of the California Pioneers in San Francisco, in 
1870, and the Secretary will show it to any person who will call on him at any time. 
If it is the one that I painted, it will be known by a mistake in tinting out the words 
' California Republic' The letters were first lined out with a pen, and I left out the 
letter 'I,' and lined out the letter ' C in its place. But afterwards I lined out the letter 
'I,' over the 'C, so that the last syllable of ' Republic' looks as if the two letters were 
blended. Yours respectfully, Wm. L. Todd." 

The following remarks and letter on the matter appeared in the San Francisco 
Evening Post of April 20, 1874: " General Sherman has just forwarded to the Society 
of California Pioneers, the guidon which the Bear Company bore at the time 'of the 
conquest of California. The relic is of white silk, with a two-inch wide red stripe at 
the bottom, and a bear in the center, over which is the inscription: ' Republic of Cal- 
ifornia.' It is accompanied by the following letter from the donor: — 

" Society of California Pioneers, San Francisco, California — 

"Gentlemen: At the suggestion of General Sherman, I beg leave to send to your 
society here with a guidon, formerly belonging to the Sonoma troop of the California 
Battalion of 1846, for preservation. This guidon I found among the effects of that 
troop when I hauled down the Bear Flag and substituted the flag of the United States 
at Sonoma, on the 9th of July, 1846, and have preserved it ever since. Very respect- 
fully, etc., Jos. W. Revere, Brigadier-General. 
" Morristown, N. /., February 20, 1^74.'' 

Let us now see what was being done by the little garrison in Sonoma. Almost 
their first duty was the election of subaltern and, non-commissioned officers, those 
chosen being, Henry L. Ford, First Lieutenant; Granville P. Swift, First Sergeant; 
Samuel Gibson, Second Sergeant. On the first regular parade of the little army they 
were addressed by Lieutenant Ford in the following pithy terms: " My countrymen! 
We have taken upon ourselves a very responsible duty. We have entered into a war 
with the Mexican nation. We are bound to defend each other or be shot! There's 
no half-way about it. To defend ourselves we must have discipline. Each of you 
has had a voice in choosing your officers. Now they are chosen, they must be obeyed." 
To all of which the company with one voice agreed. In order to throw some more 

148 History of Alameda County, California. 

light upon the internal machinery of the organization, we will continue Mr. Ide's letter, 
the first portion of which has already been quoted. He remarks further: "The men 
were divided into two companies of ten men each. The First Artillery were busily 
engaged in putting the cannon in order, which were charged doubly with grape and 
canister. The First Rifle Company were busied in cleaning, repairing, and loading 
the small arms. The Commander, after setting a guard and posting a sentinel on one 
of the highest buildings, to watch the approach of any persons who might feel a curi- 
osity to inspect our operations, directed his leisure to the establishment of some system 
of finance whereby all the defenders' families might be brought within the lines of our 
garrison, and supported. Ten thousand pounds of flour were purchased on the credit 
of the Government and deposited in the garrison; and an account was opened, on terms 
agreed upon, for a supply of beef; this and a few barrels of salt constituted our main 
supplies. Whisky was contrabanded altogether. After the first round of duties was 
performed, as many as could be spared off guard were called together, and our situation 
fully explained to the men by the commanders. It was fully represented that 
our success — nay, our very life, — depended on the magnanimity and justice of our 
course of conduct, coupled with our sleepless vigilance and care. (But ere this we had 
gathered as many of the surrounding citizens as was possible, and placed them out of 
harm's way, between four strong walls. They were more than twice our number.) 
The Commander chose from these strangers the most intelligent, and by the use of an 
interpreter went on to explain the cause of our coming together; our determination to 
offer equal protection and equal justice to all good and virtuous citizens; that we had 
not called them there to rob them of any portion of their property, nor to disturb them 
in their social relations one with another; nor yet to desecrate their religion." 

It will thus be seen from the preceding remarks that those under the protection 
of the Bear Flag party were not a few and that their number was being continually 
augmented by fresh arrivals in Sonoma, it was therefore thought expedient to ascer- 
tain what protection, if any, they might expect from the authorities of the United 
States. To this end they lost no time in dispatching a messenger to Captain Mont- 
gomery, of the United States ship Portsmouth, then lying in the port of Yerba Buena, 
to report the action taken by them and expressing, farther, their determination never to 
lay down their arms until the independence of the country they had adopted had been 
fully established. This messenger returned on the 17th of June in company with John 
Stormy Missroom, First Lieutenant, and John E. Montgomery, son and clerk to Cap- 
tain Montgomery, who were dispatched, presumably to report on the state of affairs. 
The commanding officer of the ship-of-war also sent official communications to Fre- 
mont and Sutter on the i8th, and the day after, the 19th, Fremont arrived at Sutter's 
Fort with twenty-two men, and two prisoners, Jose Noriega, of San Jos^, and Vicente 
Peralta, of what is now Alameda County. 

About this time another message was sent out from the little garrison, but in an 
opposite direction. Ascertaining that there was an insufficient supply of gunpowder 
in the magazine to meet possible contingencies, Lieutenant Ford dispatched two men 
named Cowie and Fowler to the Sotoyome Rancho of Captain H. D. Fitch (where 
now the town of Healdsburg stands) to procure some ammunition; These messen- 
gers never returned ! Their tragic fate has been thus graphically described in the 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 149 

" History of Sonoma County." Before starting they were cautioned against proceed- 
ing by traveled ways; good advice, which, however, they only followed for the first ten 
miles of their journey, after which they struck into the main thoroughfare to Santa Rosa. 
At about two miles from that place they were attacked and slaughtered by a party of 
native Californians. Two other couriers were detailed on special duty; they, too, 
were captured, but were better treated. Receiving no intelligence from either of the 
parties, foul play was suspected, therefore, on the morning of the 20th of June, Ser- 
geant Gibson was ordered, with four men, to proceed to the Sotoyopie Rancho, learn, 
if possible, of the whereabouts of the missing men, and procure the powder. They 
went as directed, secured the ammunition, but got no news of the missing men. As 
they were passing Santa Rosa, on their return, they were attacked at daylight by a 
few Californians, and, turning upon their assailants, captured two of them. Bias Ange- 
lina and Bernardino Garcia alias Three-iingered Jack, and took them to Sonoma. 
They told of the taking and slaying of Cowie and Fowler, and that their captors were; 
Ran^on Mesa Domingo, Mesa Juan Fadilla, Ramon Carrillo, Bernardino Garcia, Bias 
Angelina, Francisco Sibrian, Ygnacio Balensuella, Juan Peralta, Juan Soleto, Inaguan 
Carrillo, Mariano Miranda, Francisco Gracia, Ygnacio Stigger. The story of their 
death is a sad one. After Cowie and Fowler had been seized by the Californians 
they encamped for the night, and the following morning determined in council what 
should be the fate of their captives. A swarthy New Mexican, named Mesa Juan 
Padilla, and Three-fingered Jack, the Californian, were loudest in their denunciation 
of the prisoners as deserving of death, and, unhappily, their counsels prevailed. The 
unfortunate young men were then led out, stripped naked, bound to a tree with a 
lariat, while, for a time, the inhuman monsters practised knife-throwing at their unpro- 
tected bodies, the victims, the while, praying to be shot. They then commenced 
throwing stones at them, one of which broke the jaw of Fowler. The fiend. Three- 
fingered Jack, then advancing, thrust the end of his riata (a raw-hide rope) through 
the mouth, cut an incision in the throat, and then made a tie, by which the jaw was 
dragged out. They next proceeded to kill them slowly with their knives. Cowie, 
who had fainted, had the flesh stripped from his arms and shoulders, and pieces of 
flesh were cut from their bodies and crammed into their mouths, they being finally 
disemboweled. Their mutilated remains were afterwards found, and buried where 
they fell, upon the farm now or lately owned by George Moore, two miles north of 
Santa Rosa. 

No stone marks the graves of these martyrs; no loving hand tends to them; there 
they remain, uncared for save by the weary ploughman; their occupants are "unwept, 
unhonored, and unsung." Time, the great annihilator will soon level the mounds; in 
a few short years, these names will have been forgotten; it is to perpetuate such 
matters in a tangible form that county histories are written. 

We have been able to trace the end of two out of the thirteen murderers — truly 
a devil's dozen. Bernardino Garcia alias Three-fingered Jack was killed by Captain 
Harry Love's Rangers, July 27, 1853, at Pinold Pass, near the Merced River, with 
the bandit Joaquin Murietta, while Ramon Carrillo met his death at the hands of 
the Vigilantes, between Los Angeles and San Diego, May 21, 1864. It is due to his 
brother, a respected citizen of Santa Rosa, to say that he denies the participation 
of Ramon Carrillo in the dastardly deed noted above. 

150 History of Alameda County, California. 

At Sonoma the Independents were gradually moving the rather clogged wheels 
of a governmental machine. On June i8th, Captain Ide, having received the appro- 
bation of his comrades, issued the following document: — 

"A Proclamation to all persons and citizens of the District of Sonoma* requesting them 

to remain at peace and follow their rightful occupations, without fear of molestation. 

" The Co'mmander-in-Chief of the troops assembled at the Fortress of Sonoma 
gives his inviolable pledge to all persons in California, not found under arms, that 
they shall not be' disturbed in their persons, their property, or social relations, one 
with another, by men under his command. 

" He also solemnly declares his object to be: First, to defend himself and com- 
panions in arms who were invited to this country by a promise of lands on which 
to settle themselves and families; who were also promised a Republican Government; 
when, having arrived in California,'they were denied the privilege of buying or rent- 
ing lands of their friends, who, instead of being allowed to participate in or being 
protected by a Republican Government, were oppressed by a military despotism; 
who were even threatened by proclamation by the chief officers of the aforesaid des- 
potism with extermination if they should not depart out of the country, leaving 
all their property, arms, and beasts of burden; and thus deprived of their means of 
flight or defense, were to be driven through deserts inhabited by hostile Indians to 
certain destruction. 

" To overthrow a Government which has seized upon the property of the missions 
for its individual aggrandizement; which has ruined and shamefully oppressed the 
laboring people of California by enormous exactions on goods imported into the 
country, is the determined purpose of the brave men who are associated under my 

" I also solemnly declare my object, in the second place, to be to invite all 
peaceable and good citizens of California, who are friendly to the maintenance of 
good order and equal rights, and I do hereby invite them to repair to my camp at 
Sonoma, without delay, to assist us in establishing and perpetuating a Republican Gov- 
ernment, which shall secure to all, civil and religious liberty; which shall encourage 
virtue and literature; which shall leave, unshackled by fetters, agriculture, commerce, 
and manufactures. 

" I further declare that I rely upon the rectitude of our intentions, the favor of 
heaven, arid the bravery of those who are bound and associated with me by the prin- 
ciples of self-preservation, by the love of truth and the hatred of tyranny, for my 
hopes of success. 

" I furthermore declare that I believe that a Government to be prosperous and 
happy, must originate with the people who are friendly to its existence; that the 
citizens are its guardians, the officers its servants, its glory its reward. 

" Headquarters, Sonoma, June i8, 18^6. WILLIAM B. Ide." 

The intelligence of the establishment of the California Republic, and the deter- 
mination of the Bear Flag Party to maintain it, spread among the rancheros like 

*The District of Sonoma then embraced all- territory lying northward from the Bay of San Francisco to the 
Ofgon ljn'», and west of the Sacramento River. ' 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 151 

wild-fire; both parties labored incessantly and arduously for the conflict, and while 
the Independents guided their affairs from the citadel at Sonoma, General Castro 
ruled from his headquarters at Santa Clara, whence, on learning of the success at 
Sonoma, he issued the following two proclamations: — 

" The citizen Jos^ Castro, Lieutenant- Colonel of Cavalry in the Mexican Army, and 
acting General Commandante of the Department of California. 
" Fellow-Citizens : The contemptible policy of the agents of the United 
States of North America in this Department has induced a number of adventurers, 
who, regardless of the rights of men, have designedly commenced an invasion, pos- 
sessing themselves of the town of Sonoma, taking by surprise all the place, the 
military commander of that border, Col. Don Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Don Victor Frudon, Captain Don Salvador Vallejo, and Mr. Jacob P. Leese. 

" Fellow-CouNTRYMEN: The defense of our liberty, the true religion which 
our fathers possessed, and our independence, calls upon us to sacrifice ourselves 
rather than those inestimable blessings. Banish from your hearts all petty resent- 
ments; turn you, and behold yourselves, these families, these innocent little ones, which 
have unfortunately fallen into the hands of our enemies, dragged from the bosoms of 
their fathers, who are prisoners among foreigners, and are calling upon us to succor 
them. There is still time for us to rise en masse, as irresistible as retribution. You 
need not doubt but that Divine Providence will direct us in the way to glory. You 
should not vascillate because of the smallness of the garrison of the general head- 
quarters, for he who will first sacrifice himself will be your friend and fellow-citizen, 

"Headquarters, Santa Clara, fime ij, 18^6. JOS^ Castro." 

" The citizen Jose Castro, Lieutenant- Colonel of Cavalry in the Mexican Army and 

acting Commandante of the Department of California. 

" All foreigners residing among us, occupied with their business, may rest assured 
of the protection of all the authorities of the Department while they refrain entirely 
from all revolutionary movements. 

" The General Comandancia under my charge will never proceed with vigor 
against any persons, neither will its authority result in mere words wanting proof to 
support it; declarations shall be taken, proofs executed, and the liberty and rights of 
the laborious, which is ever commendable, shall be protected. 

" Let the fortunes of war take its chance with those ungrateful men, who, with 
arms in their hands, have attacked the country, without recollecting that they 
were treated by the undersigned with all the indulgence of which he is so character- 
istic. Tfee imperative inhabitants of the Department are witness to the truth of this. 
I have nothing to fear; my duty leads me to death or victory. I am a Mexican 
soldier, and I will be free and independent, or I will gladly die for those inestimable 
blessings. Jos6 Castro. 

" Headquarters, Santa Clara, June ly, 184.6!' 

Under Captain Joaquin de la Torre, on June 2pth, a body of about seventy Cali- 
fornians crossed the Bay of San Francisco, and being joined by a party under Carrillo 

152 History of Alameda County, California. 

and Padilla marched to the vicinity of the mission of San Rafael, while Castro 
remained at Santa Clara, recruiting his forces, by the utmost pressure, but only suc- 
ceeding in bringing into the field a squad of two hundred forced volunteers. Oi tne 
General's system of recruiting Lieutenant Revere writes: " I heard that on a least 
day. when the rancheros came to the mission in their 'go-to-meeting' clothes, with 
their wives and children, Castro seized their horses and forced the men to volunteer 
in defense of their homes, against los salvages Americanos!' On the evening of June 
27th, Castro left Santa Clara with his army, and proceeding around the head of the 
Bay of San Francisco as far as the San Leandro Creek, in what is now Alameda County, 
halted at the Estudillo Rancho, where let us leave him for the present. 

Fremont, at this juncture, found that the time had now come to give his countenance 
and aid to the revolution which he had fostered, therefore, on June 21st, he tVansferred 
his impedimenta to the care of Captain Sutter at the fort, recrossed the American 
River to Sinclair's Rancho, was there joined by Pearson B. Redding and the trappers 
about Sutter's Fort, and quietly awaited, like Micawber, "for something to turn up." 
He had not to remain inactive long. On the afternoon of the 23d, Harrison Pierce 
(who had settled in Napa Valley in 1843) came into camp hurried and excited. 
He told of how he had ridden the eighty intervening miles with but one change of 
horses; he said that the handful of patriots were greatly concerned, for news had 
arrived that General Castro and an overwhelming force was advancing on the town, 
hurling threats of recapture and hanging. Ffemont desired him to return and say 
that he would move to their assistance as soon as he could put ninety men in the 
saddle. With this news and a fresh mount. Pierce returned to his comrades, while, on 
the 23d, Captain Fremont and his ninety Mounted Rifles marched from Sinclair's — a 
curious looking cavalcade. One of the party has left the following description of 
them: "There were Americans, French, English, Swiss, Poles, Russians, Prussians, 
Chilians, Germans, Greeks, Austrians, Pawnees,. native Indians, etc., all riding side by 
side, and talking a polyglot lingual hash never exceeded. in diversibility since the con- 
fusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel. Some wore the relics of their home-spun 
garments; some relied upon the antelope and the bear for their wardrobe; some 
lightly habited in buckskin leggings and a coat of war paint, and their weapons were 
equally various. There was the grim old hunter with his long, heavy rifle; the farmer 
with his double-barreled shot-gun ; the Indian with his bow and arrows, and others 
with horse-pistols, revolvers, sabres, ships' cutlasses, bowie-knives, and 'pepper-boxes' 
(Allen's revolvers)." Though the Bear Flag army was incongruous in personnel, as a 
body it was composed of the best fighting material. Each of them was inured to 
hardship and privation, self-reliant, fertile in resources, versed in woodcraft and Indian 
fighting, accustomed to handle fire-arms, and full of energy and daring. It was a 
band of hardy adventurers, such as in an earlier age wrested this land from the 
feebler aboriginals. With this corps Fremont arrived at Sonoma at two o'clock on the 
morning of June 25, 1846, having made forced marches. 

Let us make a sbight divergence from the chronological order of things so as to 
make Captain Fremont's next move sequent on his last. 

We have already spoken of the horrible and atrocious butchery of Cowie and 
Fowler, by the party under Mesa Juan Padilla. This gang a few days thereafter 

e/ucAoA^ JhyteL^a^i 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 153 

captured William L. Todd, whose name has already appeared in this chapter as the 
artist of the Bear Flag, while he was trying to catch a stray horse that had escaped 
to a short distance from the barracks at Sonoma. They bore him off, and fallino- in 
with another man, he too was seized and led into captivity. This party of Padilla's, 
being occasionally in a playful mood, regaled Todd with throat-cutting tales, of 
which he was usually the hero, while in their more serious moments they actually 
threatened to carry their banterings into tragic execution. Fortunately he spoke the 
Spanish language, and though slightly, yet with sufficient force to make them under- 
stand that his death v/ould peal the knell of General Vallejo's doom. He and his 
companion in misfortune, with whom he had no opportunity to converse, but who 
appeared like an Englishman — a half-fool and common loafer — were conveyed to the 
Indian Rancheria called Olompali, about eight miles from the present town of Peta- 

For the purpose of liberating the prisoners, and keeping the enemy in check until 
the arrival of Captain Fremont, Lieutenant Ford mustered a squad, variously stated 
at from twenty to twenty-three men, among whom were Granville P. Swift, Samuel 
Kelsey, William Baldridge, and Frank Bedwell, names more or less familiar to us, 
and on June 23d, taking with them the two prisoners. Bias Angelina and Three-fin- 
gered Jack, marched from Sonoma for where it was thought the Californians had 
established their headquarters. Here they learned from some Indians, under consid- 
erable military pressure, that the Californian troops had left three hours before. 
They now partook of a hasty meal, and with one of the Indians pressed into the ser- 
vice as guide, proceeded towards the Laguna de San Antonio, which lies on the pres- 
ent boundary line between Marin and Sonoma Counties, and that night halted within 
half a mile of the enemy's camp. At dawn they fell upon the place, took the only men 
they found there prisoners — their number was four, the remainder having left for 
San Rafael. 

Here four men were left to guard the prisoners and horses, Lieutenant Ford 
with the remainder of his troops, starting in pursuit of the enemy. Leaving the lagoon 
of San Antonio, and having struck into the road leading to San Rafael, after a sharp 
ride of four miles they came in sight of the house pointed out to them as that in 
which the Californians had passed the night with Todd and "the inan that looked 
like an Englishman," and were at that time within its walls, enjoying a mild fiesta. 
Ford's men were as ignorant of their proximity as the Californians were of theirs. 
However, when the advance guard arrived in sight of the corral, and perceiving it to 
be full of horses, with a number of Indian vaqueros around it, they made a brilliant 
dash to prevent the animals from being turned loose. While exulting over their good 
fortune at this unlooked-for addition to their cavalry arm, they were surprised to see 
the Californians rush out of the house and mount their ready-saddled quadrupeds. It 
should be mentioned that the house spoken of was situated on the edge of a plain, 
some sixty yards from a grove of brushwood. In a moment Ford formed his men 
into two half companies, and charged the enemy, who, perceiving the movement, 
retreated behind the grove of trees. From his position Ford counted them, and found 
that they were eighty-five, all told. Notwithstanding he had but fourteen in his 
ranks, nothing daunted, he dismounted his men, and, taking advantage of the protec- 

154 History of Alameda County, California. 

tion offered by the brushwood, prepared for action. The Californians, observing this 
evolution, became emboldened and prepared for a charge. On this, Ford calmly- 
awaited the attack, giving stringent orders that his rear rank should hold their fire 
until the enemy were well up, and that not a bullet should be wasted. On they came^ 
with shouts, the brandishing of swords and the flash of pistols, until within thirty 
yards of the Americans, whose front files poured into the advancing foe a withering fire, 
and emptied the saddles of eight of the Mexican soldiery. On receiving this volley, 
the enemy turned to the right about, and made a break for the hills, while Ford's rear 
rank played upon them at long range, causing three more to bite the earth, and 
wounding two others. The remainder retreated helter-skelter to a hill in the direc- 
tion of San Rafael, leaving Todd and his companion to join their succorers. Ford's 
little force having now attained the object of their expedition, and without a casualty, 
secured their prisoners of war, and going to the corral, where the enemy had a large 
drove of horses, changed their jaded nags for fresh ones, took the remainder — some 
four hundred — and retraced their victorious steps to Sonoma, where they were heartily 
welcomed by their anxious countrymen, who had feared for their safety. 

We last left Captain Fremont at Sonoma, where he had arrived at two A. M. of 
the 25th of June. Having given his men and horses a short rest, and receiving a 
small addition t& his force, he was once more in the saddle and started for San 
Rafael, where it was said Castro had joined de la Torre with two hundred and fifty 
men. At four o'clock in the afternoon they came in sight of the position supposed to 
be occupied by the enemy, which they cautiously approached until quite close, when 
they charged, the three first to enter being Fremont, Kit Carson, and J. W. Marshall 
(the future discoverer of gold), but they found the lines occupied by only four men, 
the gallant Captain de la Torre having withdrawn some three hours previously, leaving 
not a trace behind. Fremont camped on the ground that night, and on the following 
morning, the 26th, detailed scouting parties, while the main body remained quiescent 
at San Rafael for three days. 

We have already seen that General Castro had marched forth from Santa Clara 
on the 27th of June, to chastise the Sonoma insurgents, and that he called a halt at 
the rancho of the Estudillos. From this place he dispatched three men to reconnoiter, 
viz.: Don Jos^ Reyes Berryessa (a retired Sergeant of the Presidio Company of San 
Francisco, who in 1837 was granted the tract of land on which the New Almaden 
mine is situated), with Ramon and Francisco de Haro (twin sons of Don Francisco de 
Haro, Alcalde of San Francisco in 1838-39), who landed on what is now known as 
Point San Quentin. On coming to the shore they were seized, with their arms, and 
on them were found written orders from Castro to Captain de la Torre (who it was 
not known had made his escape via Saucelito to Santa Clara) to kill every foreign 
man, woman, and child. These men were shot on the spot — first, as spies; second, in 
retaliation for the Americans so cruelly butchered by the Californians. Castro, upon 
finding that his men did not return, feared a like fate for himself; he therefore retraced 
his steps to the Santa Clara Mission, where he arrived on the 29th of June, after a 
prodigious expedition of two days' duration. 

About this time a small party intended for service under the Bear Flag had 
been recruited by Captain Thomas Fallon, then of Santa Cruz, but subsequently 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 155 

for many years a resident of Santa Clara County. This company, which consisted 
of only twenty-two men, crossed the Santa Cruz Mountains, entered the Santa Clara 
Valley at night, arid called a halt about three miles to the south of San Jose. 
Here Fallon learned that Castro was close at hand with a force of two hundred 
men; therefore, acting on the principle that discretion is the better part of valor, 
he fell back into the mountains and there encamped, where we shall leave him for 
a space. . 

In the meantime great events had been occurring without. War had been 
declared by the United States against Mexico; General Scott had carried on a 
series of brilliant exploits, which culminated in the capture of the Mexican Capi- 
tal, and the flag of the United States of America had been hoisted at Monterey 
July 7, 1846. 

Two days later than the last-mentioned date there might have been seen a 
solitary horseman, urging the animal he bestrode, as if for bare life, through the 
then almost impassable gorges of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and across the wide 
expanse of the Santa Clara Valley. From his pre-occupied air it could be remarked 
that he bore a weighty burden upon- his shoulders, and still he pressed his jaded 
steed onwards, whose gored sides and dilated nostrils gave evidence of being pushed 
to the utmost. Ere long both came to a halt within the open space fronting the 
Justice Hall, in San Jose. With a jubilant wave of his cap, our traveler announces 
to his compatriots the welcome intelligence of the glory of American arms. He 
hastily asks of the whereabouts of the General, whom he at once seeks; he finds 
him enjoying his otium cum dignitate in the seclusion of his well-appointed quarters 
at the Santa Clara Mission, and there the dusty voyager, Henry Pitts, delivers 
into the hands of the redoubtable soldier, Josd Castro, the dispatch which tells 
him of the defeat of Mexican arms, and, the ascendency of the United States forces. 
With moody brow he breaks the seal; he mounts his charger and proceeds to the 
pueblo; arrived there, he calls forth his men, forms them in line in front of the. juzgado, 
and then excl-aiming, " Monterey is taken by the Americans !" proceeds to read, in 
Spanish, the proclamation of Commodore Sloat, of which the annexed is a trans- 
lation: — 

"To THE Inhabitants of California: — 

" The central troops of Mexico having commenced hostilities againSt the United 
States of America, by invading its territory, and attacking the troops of the United 
States, stationed on the north side of the Rio Grande, and with a force of seven 
thousand men, under the command of General Arista, which army was totally 
destroyed, and all their artillery, baggage, etc., captured, on the eighth and ninth of 
Ma:y last, by a force of twenty-three hundred men, under the command of General 
Taylor, and the city of Matamoras taken and occupied by the forces of the United 
States, and the two nations being actually at war by this transaction, I shall hoist 
the standard of the United States at Monterey, immediately, and shall carry it through 

" I declare to the inhabitants of California, that although I come in arms With a 
powerful force, I do not come among them as an enemy to California; on the con- 

156 History of Alameda County, California. 

trary, I come as their best friend, as henceforth California will be a portion of the 
United States, and its peaceable inhabitants will enjoy the same rights and privileges 
they now enjoy, together with the privilege of choosing their own magistrates and 
other officers for the administration of justice among themselves, and the same pro- 
tection will be extended to them as to any other State in the Union. They will also 
enjoy a permanent Government, under which life and property, and the Constitutional 
right and lawful security to worship the Creator in the way most congenial to each one's 
sense of duty will be secured, which, unfortunately, the Central Government of Mex- 
ico cannot afford them, destroyed as her resources are by internal factions and corrupt 
officers, who create constant revolutions to promote their own interests and oppress 
the people. Under the flag of the United States, California will be free from all such 
troubles and expenses; consequently the country will rapidly advance and improve,, 
both in agriculture and commerce; as, of course, the revenue laws will be the same in 
California as in all other parts of the United States, affording them all manufactures 
and produce of the United States free of any duty, and for all foreign goods at one- 
quarter the duty they now pay. A great increase in the value of real estate and the 
products of California may be anticipated. 

" With the great interest and kind feeling I know the Government and people of 
the United States possess toward the citizens of California, the country cannot but 
improve more rapidly than any other on the continent of America. 

" Such of the inhabitants, whether natives or foreigners, as may not be disposed 
to accept the high privileges of citizenship, and to live peacefully under the Government 
of the United States, will be allowed time to dispose of their property and remove out 
of the country, if they choose, without any restriction; or remain in it, observing strict 

"With full confidence in the honor and integrity of the inhabitants of the coun- 
try, I invite the Judges, Alcaldes, and other civil officers, to execute their functions as 
heretofore, that the public tranquility may not be disturbed, at least until the Govern- 
ment of the Territory can be definitely arranged. 

"All persons holding titles to real estate, or in quiet possession of lands under 
color of right, shall have these titles guaranteed to them. 

" All churches, and the property they contain, in possession of the clergy of Cal- 
ifornia, shall continue in the same right and possession they now enjoy. 

"All provisions and supplies of every kind furnished by the inhabitants for the 
use of the United States ships and soldiers, will be paid for at fair rates, and no pri- 
vate property will be taken for public use without just compensation at the moment. 

"John D. Sloat, 
" Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Naval Forces in the Pacific Ocean!' 

The reading of the foregoing concluded, Castro is said to have exclaimed: "What 
can I do with a handful of men against the United States ? I am going to Mexico ! 
All you who wish to follow me, right-about-face ! All that wish to remain can go to 
their homes !" Only a very few chose to follow the fortunes of the Don into Mexico, 
whither he proceeded on that same day, first, however, taking prisoner Captain Charles 
M. Weber, who, some years previously, had ranged himself in the opposite faction to 
Castro, and who was not released until their arrival at Los Angeles. 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 157 

We last saw Captain Fremont in the vicinity of San Rafael lying in a state of 
watchful inactivity. There he remained until the 2d of July, when he returned to 
Sonoma, where he commenced the labors of a more psrfect organization, their plan 
being to keep the Californians to the southern part of the Territory until the immi- 
grants then on their way had time to cross the Sierra Nevada. The national holiday 
having been celebrated with due pomp, the next day was devoted to the formation 
and organization of the California Battalion of Mounted Riflemen, two hundred and 
fifty strong, officered as follows: Commandant, John C. Fremont, Brevet-Captain and 
Second Lieutenant of Topographical Engineers; Adjutant, and Inspector, with the 
rank of Captain, Archibald A. Gillespie, First Lieutenant of Marines. Of the for- 
mation of this battalion Fremont says: "In concert and co-operation with the Ameri- 
can settlers, and in the brief space of thirty days, all was accomplished north of the 
Bay of San Francisco, and independence declared on the 5th of July (1846). This 
was done at Sonoma, where the American settlers had assembled. I was called, by 
my position and by the general voice, to the chief direction of affairs, and on the 6th 
of July, at the head of the mounted riflemen, set out to find Castro." 

We have already shown that the war between Mexico and the United States had 
placed California in the hands of the latter, and that the national ensign was hoisted at 
Monterey on July 7th. On the morning of the 9th Lieutenant Joseph Warren Revere 
left the United States ship Portsmouth, then lying in the harbor at Yerba Buena, in 
one of her boats, and on reaching Sonoma did, at noon of that day, haul down the Bear 
Flag and raise in its place the Stars and Stripes; and at the same time forwarded one to 
Sutter's Fort by the hands of William Scott, and another to Captain Stephen Smith, 
at Bodega. Thus ended the Bear Flag War, of which the following is the Mexican 
account: — 

" About a year before the commencement of the war a band of adventurers, pro- 
ceeding from the United States, and scattering over the vast territory of California, 
awaited only the signal of their Government to take the first step in the contest for 
usurpation. Various acts committed by these adventurers in violation of the laws of 
the country indicated their intentions. But unfortunately the authorities then exist- 
ing, divided among themselves, neither desired nor knew how to -arrest the tempest. 
In the month of July, 1 846, Captain Fremont, an Engineer of the U. S. A., entered 
the Mexican territory with a few mounted riflemen, under the pretext of a scientific 
commission, and solicited and obtained from the Commandant-General, D. Josd Castro, 
permission to traverse the country. Three months afterwards, on the 19th of May, 
that same force and their commander took possession, by armed force, and surprised 
the important town of Sonoma, seizing all the artillery, ammunition, armaments, etc., 
which it contained. 

"The adventurers scattered along the Sacramento River, amounting to about four 
hundred, one hundred and sixty nien having joined their force. They proclaimed for 
themselves, and on their own authority, the independence of California, raising a rose- 
colored flag with a bear and a star. The result of this scandalous proceeding was the 
plundering of the property of some Mexicans and the assassination of others — three 
men shot as spies by Fremont, who, faithful to their duty to their country, wished to 
make resistance. The Commandant-General demanded explanations on the subject 

158 History of Alameda County, California. 

of the Commander of an American ship-of-war, the Portsmouth, anchored in the Bay 
of San Francisco; and although it was positively known that munitions of war, arms, 
and clothing were sent on shore to the adventurers, the Commander, J. B. Montgom- 
ery, replied that ' Neither the Government of the United States nor the subalterns 
had any part in the insurrection, and that the Mexican authorities ought, therefore, to 
punish its authors in conformity with the laws.'" 

On leaving Sonoma with the California Battalion says Fremont: " We had to 
make the circuit of the head of the bay, crossing the Sacramento River (at Knight's 
Landing). On the loth of July, when within ten miles of Sutter's Fort, we received 
(by the hands of William Scott*) the joyful intelligence that Commodore John 
Drake Sloat was at Monterey and had taken it on the 7th of July, and that war existed 
between the United States and Mexico. Instantly we pulled down the flag of Inde- 
pendence (Bear Flag) and ran up that of the United States amid general rejoicing, 
and a national salute of twenty-one guns on the morning of the nth from Sutter's 
Fort, with a brass four-pounder called 'Sutter.'" Thence afterwards proceeding down 
the valley of the San Joaquin, they found themselves at the San Juan Mission, where 
Fremont was joined by Captain Fallon, who the reader may recollect we last saw 
encamped in the Santa Cruz Mountains. His adventures since we heard of him may 
thus be briefly told. Upon hearing of Castro's departure, he marched into the town of 
San Jose, seized the yz/.a^ia:(/(7, arrested Dolores Pacheco, the Alcalde, appointed an Amer- 
ican citizen in his place, and on July 13th hoisted an American ensign on the flag- 
staff" in front of the Court House, and opened direct land communication with Monte- 
rey; all of which he reported, as the following correspondence with United States 
authority in San Francisco will fully explain: — 

"U. S. Ship Portsmouth, Yerba Buena, July 13, 1846. 
" Sir: I have just received your letter, with a copy of Mr. James Stokes' appoint- 
ment as Justice of the Peace, at the pueblo; also a dispatch from the Commander-in- 
Chief of the U. S. Naval Forces, at Monterey, for which I thank you. By the. bearer 
of them, I return a dispatch for Commodore Sloat, which I hope you will have an 
opportunity of forwarding to Monterey. 

" I received your letter of July 12th, and wrote to you, by the bearer of it, on the 
13th, an answer, advising you by all means to hoist the flag of the United States at 
the Pueblo of St. Joseph, as you expressed to do, if you had sufficient force to main- 
tain it there; of course you will understand that it is not again to be hauled down. 

" Agreeable to your request, I send you a proclamation of the Commander-in- 
Chief, in both languages, which I shall be glad to have distributed as far and gener- 
ally as possible; and be pleased to assure all persons of the most perfect security from 
injuries to their persons and property, and endeavor, by every means in your power, 
to inspire them with confidence in the existing authorities and Government of the 
Uijited States. I am, sir, respectfujly, your obedient servant, 

"JNO. B. Montgomery, 
" Commanding U. S. Ship Portsmouth. 
" To Captain Thomas Fallon, Pueblo of St. Joseph, Upper California." 

*This honor is claimed by Harry Bee and John Daubenbiss, but those quoted are Fremont's own words. 

MiLiTATY Occupation^ Bear Flag, Etc. 159 

" U. S. Ship Portsmouth, Verba Buena, July i8, 1846. 
" Sir: I have just received your letter with the official dispatch from Commodore 
Sloat, which has been accidentally delayed one day in its transmission from the 
pueblo, and am much obliged to you for sending it. 

" I am gratified to hear that you have hoisted the flag of our country, and cannot 
but feel assured, as I certainly hope, that your zealous regard for its honor and glory 
will lead you nobly to defend it there. I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

"Jno. B. Montgomery, Commander. 
"To Captain Thomas Fallon, at the Pueblo San Jos^, Upper California." 

After Fremont was joined by Fallon, whose company had been disbanded at 
Monterey in the meantime, the former sailed at once with his men in the Cyane for 
San Diego to cut off Castro's retreat, who had united with Pio Pico, thus giving them 
six hundred men. It is not our intention to follow the doings of the " Pathfinder " 
in his southern campaign, but to confine ourselves to the district conterminous to the 
country whose chronicles we have undertaken to compile. His operations and their 
results are a matter of national history. 

The Indians of the San Joaquin Valley had, during the year, 1846, commenced 
to be such a source of annoyance to the residents in that district that in the month of 
April complaint had been made to the Departmental Assembly, but up to July noth- 
ing had been done. Wishing to intercept Captain Fremont, in the month of July> 
Captain Montgomery penned the following dispatch to that officer: — 

"U. S. Ship Portsmouth, Verba Buena, July 9, 1846. 
" Sir : Last evening. I was officially notified of the existence of war between the 
United States and the Central Government of Mexico, and have this morning taken 
formal possession of this place, and hoisted the flag in town. Commodore Sloat, who 
took possession of Monterey on the 7th instant, has directed me to notify you of the 
change in the political condition of things in California, and to request your presence 
at Monterey, with a view to future arrangements and co-operations, at as early a period 
as possible. 

"I forwarded at two o'clock this morning a dispatch from Commodore Sloat to 
the Commandant at Sonoma, with an American flag for their use, should they stand 
in need of one. Mr. Watmough, who will hand you this, will give you all the news. 
"Very respectfully, etc., Jno. B. Montgomery. 

" To Captain J. C. Fremont, Top. Engineer, Santa Clara." 

On the same day (July 9th) the following order was given to Purser James H. 
Watmough by Captain Montgomery: — 

" Sir: Vou will proceed to Santa Clara, and to the pueblo, if necessary, in order 
to intercept Captain Fremont, now on his march from the Sacramento; and on meet- 
ing, please hand him the accompanying communication, after which you will return 
to this place, without delay, and report to me." 

Whether Watmough delivered Captain Montgomery's dispatch to Fremont at 
that time is uncertain; the presumption, however, is that he did, and that on reporting 

160 History of Alameda County, California. 

such, as also the state of affairs in regard to the Indians in the San Joaquin Valley, 
he was instructed to occupy San Jose with thirty-five marines' who had accompanied 
him as an escort, for we find that gallant Purser had established his headquarters at 
the Juzgado, added some volunteers to his force, and, in the month of August, with 
thirty marines, and about the same number of citizen soldiers, crossed the mountaina 
and gave combat to a party of a hundred Indians, which he drove back into their own 
valley. After doing much to allay the excitement which then existed, his command 
was withdrawn in the month of October. 

Such was the military enthusiasm of the period that it was not as difficult then 
as it might be to-day to recruit an armed force. During the month of October, 1846, 
Commander Hull of the United States sloop-of-war Warren, in command of the 
northern district of California, commissioned two citizens of San Josd, Charles M. 
Weber and John M. Murphy, as Captain and Lieutenant in the land forces, and these 
gentlemen quickly raised a company of scouts. This recruiting spirit, however, was 
not confined to the actual settler solely, for, no sooner had the immigrants crossed the 
Sierra Nevada and arrived at Sutter's Fort than they were enrolled by Captain Gran- 
ville Swift and forwarded to the south of the territory to augment the strength of 
Fremont's California Battalion. Among these was Joseph Aram, who received a 
commission and was detailed for duty at the mission of Santa Clara in charge of 
immigrant families; where during the inclement winter season the poor people suffered 
severe privations. Captain Aram managed to raise a company of thirty-two men, 
among them was the familiar name of Flam Brown of Contra Costa County, and 
established his headquarters, as desired, at Santa Clara. His first duty was to place 
the mission in a suitable state of defense to which end he constructed barricades, 
built principally of wagons that had crossed the plains, and the branches of trees, for 
he had learned that Colonel Sanchez and a body of mounted Californians were hover- 
ing in the vicinity. San Jose was formed into a military post in the month of 
November, and sixty men, with Messrs. Watmough and Griffin, under command of 
Lieutenant Pinkney of the United States ship Savannah sent to protect the inhabit- 
ants in the district. The force left Verba Buena early in the morning of the 1st, and 
proceeding by the ship's boats up the bay, about sunset made fast to the shore and 
that night camped on the site of the present town of Alviso. Dawn of the next day 
found Lieutenant Pinkney and his command on the route, and after a weary march, 
for muskets, bayonets, cartridges, provisions, and blankets had to be carried by each 
man, arrived that afternoon at San Josd, which he at once put in a state of proper 

The military freebooter Sanchez had at this time established a reign of terror in 
the districts around the Bay of San Francisco, neither man, horse, nor stock of any 
kind being free from his predatory band. Concealing themselves in thicket or ravine, 
they were wont to fall upon the unsuspecting traveler, who, after being robbed, was 
too often most foully murdered. In the month of December, 1846, about the eighth 
day, a foraging party under Lieutenant W. A. Bartlett of the sloop-of-war Warren 
and five men, among them being Martin Corcoran, a much respected citizen of San 
Josd, started from Verba Buena to purchase beef for the United States forces. When 
they arrived in the vicinity of that locality where now stands the Seventeen-mile House, 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 161 

on the San Jos^ road from San Francisco^ and when in the act of driving together 
some cattle, thirty of Sanchez' men rushed from an ambuscade, captured them and. 
carried them off to their camp in the redwoods of the Coast Range of mountains; but 
after a space removing to another portion of the same chain in San Mateo County, he 
increased his force to a hundred men and one piece of artijiery — a six pounder — and 
commenced a succession of marauding expeditions in the country that lies within 
fifty miles of San ]os6. Intelligence reaching the pueblo of these depredations of 
Colonel Sanchez, without loss of time Captain Weber sounded the '' call " to boot 
and saddle, and about Christmas day, 1846, was in full chase. Learning, however, of 
the recent addition to the enemy's strength, he avoided an encounter with a force so 
much his superior in numbers and pushed on to San Francisco where he reported to 
the Commandant. 

Still retaining his six prisoners under close guard, Sanchez advanced into the 
Santa Clara Valley, by way of the head of the Bay of San Francisco, and called a halt 
about ten miles from San Jos^, which place he came to after a rest of forty-eight 
hours. Aware full well that Weber and his company were not in the town, and noth- 
ing remained for its defense but a few marines, he thought that it would fall before 
his mighty presence, even without firing a shot, he therefore dispatched a note to 
Lieutenant Pinkney, calling upon him to surrender and withdraw his men; in which 
event the Americans would be permitted to retire unmolested; should he refuse, then 
an, attack would be forthwith made and all put to the sword. But Pinkney was not 
to be intimidated by such shallow bravado. As the sun sank into the west on that 
day he formed his men in line and read to them the arrogant communication of the 
robber chief, which being ended, he said, if there were any there who did not wish to 
fight they had full liberty to rejoin the ship at San Francisco. Such, however, hap- 
pily is not the spirit of the American people or their forces, else the glorious Union 
would not be in the lead of nations as it is to-day. Pinkney's men raised their voices 
as one man, and elected to stay and let Sanchez do his worst, while their gallant com- 
mander vehemently asserted, " Then, by G — d, Sanchez shall never drive me out of 
here alive 1 " And then there burst from the throats of that handful of heroes one 
hoarse cheer that made the welkin ring. Like a true soldier, the Lieutenant gave 
not an order the carrying out of which he did not personally superintend. He 
divided his small force into four squads, who were, on an alarm being sounded, each 
to press for a particular side of the breast-work which he had built around the Juzgado; 
if, however, the enemy should be found in a body trying to effect an entrance at any 
other side, then were the four divisions to rush en masse to that spot. That night 
Pinkney doubled the guard, and his rnen slept on their arms. It was his expectation 
to be attacked by a force immeasureably his superior in point of numbers, but at dead 
of night Sanchez rode round the pueblo, reflected deeply, and wisely determined that 
to be valorous was to be discreet, therefore he withdrew his men leaving our forces in 
full possession. Lieutenant Pinkney is described as being a tall, well-proportioned 
man, over six feet high, with sandy whiskers and hair. He was straight as an arrow 
and looked the soldier all over; his very appearance showed where he would be in a 
hot contest. There was not a man among his little band that did not have the 
utmost confidence in him. 

162 History of Alameda County, Califorkia. 

Let us now return and see how fared it with the prisoners captured near the 
Seventeen-mile House. To try and effect their release, James Alexander Forbes 
(who died in Oakland in May, 1881), Her Britannic Majesty's Consul, visited Sanchez' 
band, where his brother-in-law was serving; and strove to obtain the liberation of the 
captives, but with no success. After a good deal of palaver, however, Sanchez con- 
sented to Lieutenant Bartlett being permitted to accompany Forbes to his resi- 
dence in Santa Clara, but on no account was he to be handed, over to the American 
authorities, while, as to the other five, he was willing that they all should be surren- 
dered to their nationals, but Captain Weber, who had before the commencement of 
hostilities between the United States and Mexico, been in the service of the latter 
Government, must be given up to him. Consul Forbes transmitted the result of his 
diplomatic mission to the commanding ofificer at San Francisco, who replied that 
he unconditionally refused such terms, and Bartlett could be returned to Sanchez. 

A day of reckoning was now fast drawing nigh, for a little army with the 
destruction of Sanchez and his band in view, was being formed in San Francisco 
under command of Captain Ward Marston, of the Marine corps attached to the 
United States ship Savannah. The force was composed as follows: Assistant-Surgeon 
J. Durall, Aid-de-Camp; detachment of marines, under Lieutenant Robert Tansil, 
thirty-four men; artillery, one field-piece, six pounder, under charge of Master William 
F. D. Gough, assisted by midshipman John Kell, ten men; interpreter, John Pray; 
Mounted Company, San Jos^ Volunteers, under command of Captain Charles M- 
Weber, Lieutenant John M. Murphy and acting Lieutenant John Reed, thirty-three 
men; Mounted Company of Yerba Buena Volunteers, under command of William M. 
Smith (a pioneer of Contra Costa County), Lieutenant John Rose; with a small 
detachment, under Captain Julius Martin (still residing at Gilroy, Santa Clara County), 
of twelve men, the whole being in the neighborhood of one hundred men. 

The little army marched out of San Francisco on the 29th December, their 
course being southward and through the Santa Clara Valley. On the morning of 
January 2, 1847, they came in sight of the enemy, who, upon learning of their ap- 
proach, had dispatched their six prisoners, on foot, into the mountains in charge of a 
guard of twelve men, who, having proceeded a couple of miles, halted. 

Upon the force of Americans coming up with the enemy, at ten o'clock in the 
morning, orders were given to open fire at two hundred yards' range which was done 
with telling effect, the first one or two volleys entirely breaking the line in which 
Sanchez chose to fight. Finding his alignment cut in twain, Sanchez wheeled his 
men so as to bring each of his sections on either flank of Captain Marston's corps, but 
still making a retrograde movement, while the latter advanced. Ever and anon 
would the desperate Colonel rally his already demoralized troops in front, and again 
wheel them on the flanks of his opponents, thus alternately fighting in front and on 
flank, but still keeping up the order of his retreat for two or three hours. 

Lieutenant Pinkney from his fortified position in San Jose, hearing the firing, 
gave orders for making hundreds of cartridges, and placed everything in a state of 
defense, in case Sanchez should be victorious and come down on the pueblo, while he 
waited anxiously for news of the battle, for he believed the Americans were outnum- 
bered, and had some doubt as to how the fortune of the day might turn; while, at 

Military Occupation, Bear Flag, Etc. 163 

Santa Clara Mission, people crowded the roof-tops and there witnessed the engage- 
ment, to which place the retreat tended. Finding this new force to contend against 
he drew off unwilling to renew a fight of which he had already had too much, and 
found his way to the Santa Cruz Mountains whence he dispatched a flag of truce and 
a communication stating the terms on which he would surrender. The reply he re- 
ceived was that his surrender must be absolute, and notwithstanding that he said he 
would die first, an armistice was agreed upon and dispatches sent to the Command- 
ant at San Francisco, asking for instructions. 

Meanwhile Pinkney's suspense was put to an end by the receipt of a message 
as ,to the result of the action, while Marston marched his men to the Santa Clara 
Mission where they were received with demonstrative joy by the American ladies and 
children, there assembled. Captain Aram now received permission to proceed in 
quest of.certain horses which had been stolen from the American settlers in the Santa 
Clara Valley, some of which he knew to be in the cavalcade of the enemy, and while 
engaged in this duty was informed by Sanchez that another body of United States 
troops was on its way from Monterey. This information could scarcely be credited 
by the Captain, who, ascending a commanding point, perceived the intelligence to be 
correct. This accession to the fighting strength, of, the Americans made Sanchez 
tremble lest he should be attacked by them, he therefore begged Aram to advance 
and inform them of the situation of affairs, which he did. The new-comers felt con- 
siderable chagrin at this situation of affairs for they longed to have a brush with the 
enemy. This force was under the command of Captain Maddox of the United States 
Navy, and consisted of fifty-nine mounted sailors and marines. 

The courier sent to San Francisco returned on the 6th with instructions to 
Captain Marston that the surrender of Sanchez must be unconditional, a copy of 
which he transmitted to the Colonel, whereupon the terms of capitulation were agreed 
upon. Another reinforcement arrived under Lieutenant Grayson on the 7th and on 
January 8, 1847, his whole force laid down their arms and the six anxious prisoners 
were returned to the hands of their countrymen. The Mexican Colonel was taken to 
San Francisco and held as a prisoner, for a time, on board the United States ship. 
Savannah, while his men were permitted to return to their respective homes. 

And thus the curtain is dropped upon the closing act in the war-like drama, as 
enacted in the northern part of Upper California in the years 1 846 and 1 847. 

164 History of Alameda County, California. 



THE first organization of counties in the United States of America, originated in 
Virginia, where her earliest settlers became possessed of vast tracts of land, 
lived the life of isolated patricians, imperious in demeanor, aristocratic in feel- 
ing, and, in a measure, were dictators to the laboring classes by whom they were sur- 
rounded. Therefore it will readily be appreciated that owing to the scarcity of voters, 
and the large district over which they were scattered, there was not the material from 
which to create towns. Moreover, county organization was in perfect harmony with 
the social and judicial dignities of Great Britain, in which, as descendants of that 
country, they felt so much glory. In Virginia, in 1634, eight counties were estab- 
lished. In a little this lead was followed by the Southern and several of the North- 
ern States, with the solitary exceptions of Louisiana and South Carolina, in the for- 
mer of which, after the custom of France, parishes were organized, and districts 
created in the latter. 

In New England towns were formed before counties, while they in turn were 
organized before' States, whose powers of government originally were exercised by 
towns or townships. The powers afterwards assumed by States were from surrender 
on the part of towns, while counties were created for the purpose of defining the 
jurisdiction of Courts of Justice. The representative system arose from out of a 
union of towns which were formed into States, each town being represented in the 
State Legislature, or General Court, by delegates chosen by its freemen at stated 

The first authentic evidence of a town meeting, which we can find, is that held 
by the delegation of the Plymouth Colony on March 23, 162 1, which had in view the 
perfecting of a military organization. At that session a Governor was chosen for the 
ensuing year ; and it is noticed as a coincidence, whether from that source, or other- 
wise, that the annual town meetings in New England, and in most of the other States, 
have ever since been held in the Spring of the year. It was not, however, until 1635 
that the township system was adopted as a quasi corporatini in Massachusetts. 

It may be interesting to note what were the provisions contained in the first legal 
enactment concerning this system. It read: "Whereas, particular towns have many 
things which concern only themselves, and the ordering of their own affairs, and dis- 
posing of business in their own towns; therefore the freemen of every town, or the 
major part of them, shall only have power to dispose of their own lands and woods, 
with all the appurtenances of said towns ; to grant lots and to make such orders as 
may concern the well-ordering of their own towns, not repugnant to the laws and 
orders established by the General Court. They might also impose fines of not more 
than thirty shillings, and choose their own particular ofificers, as constables, surveyors 
for highways, and the like." This enactment, no doubt, relieved the General Court of 
a mass of municipal details, without any danger to the controlling power of that body 

Legislative History of the County. 165 

in general measures of public policy, while, it is also probable that a demand of the 
freemen of the towns was felt for the control of their own home concerns. 

The colonies of New England were first governed by a " General Court," com- 
posed of a Governor and small Council, which Court comprised the most influential 
•inhabitants, and, while possessing legislative powers, exercised judicial functions, 
which were limited only by the wisdom of the holders. They made laws, ordered 
their execution, elected their own officers, tried and decided civil and criminal causes', 
enacted all manner of municipal .regulations, and, in fact, transacted all the business 
of the colony. 

This system, which was found to be eminently successful, became general as terri- 
tory was added to the Republic and States were formed. Divisions of less size were 
in turn inaugurated and placed under the supervision of proper officials whose num- 
bers were increased as time developed a demand, until the system of county and 
township organization in the United States is the most complete of any land. 

Let us now proceed to trace the formation of Alameda County. 

Organization of Alameda County. — On the acquisition of Upper California 
by the United States of America under a treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and set- 
tlement, with the Republic of Mexico, dated Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848, 
the boundaries of the territory ceded were properly defined. The President duly 
ratified it on the i6th of February of the same year; it was exchanged by the cov- 
enanting parties at Queretaro, May 30th, and subsequently promulgated, July 4, 1848, 
by President James K. Polk and attested by Secretary of State James Buchanan. A 
Constitutional Convention assembled in Monterey in the year 1849, and on October 
1 2th, at the close of the session, a proclamation calling upon the people to form a 
Government was issued. Its objects were declared by Brigadier-General Riley, the 
Military Governor, to be: "to designate such officers as they desire to make and 
execute the laws; that their choice may be wisely made, and that the Government so 
organized may secure the permanent welfare and happiness of the people of the new 
State, is the sincere and earnest wish of the present executive, who, if the Constitution 
be ratified, will, with pleasure, surrender his powers to whomsoever the people may 
designate as his successor." 

In accordance with Section fourteen of Article twelve of the Constitution, it was 
provided that the State be divided into counties, while the first session of the Legis- 
lature, which began at San Jos^ on December 15, 1849, passed, February 18, 1850, 
"An Act subdividing the State into counties and establishing seats of justice therein." 
The Act was finally confirmed April 25, 1851, and directed the boundaries of Contra 
Costa, in which the greater portion of Alameda County was included, to be as under. 

Original Boundary of Contra Costa County.— Beginning at the mouth of 
Alameda Creek and running thence in a southwesterly direction to the middle of the 
Bay of San Francisco ; thence in a northerly or northwesterly direction, following, as 
near as may be, the middle of the bay to the Straits of San Pablo; thence up the 
middle of the Bay of San Pablo to the Straits of Carquinez; thence running up the 
middle of said Straits to the Suisun Bay, and up the middle of said bay to the mouth 

166 History of Alameda County, California. 

of the San Joaquin River; thence following up the middle of said river to the place 
known as Pescadero or Lower Crossing; thence in a direct line to the northeast corner 
of Santa Clara County, which is on the summit of the Coast Range, near the source 
of Alameda Creek; thence down the middle of said creek to its mouth, which was the 
place of beginning, including the islands of San Pablo, Coreacas, and Tesoro. The. 
seat of justice shall be at the town of Martinez. 

Creation of Alameda County. — We have already stated that originally 
Alameda County formed a large portion of Contra Costa. In 1853 it was created 
from out of the southern portion of Contra Costa, and a part (Washington Township) 
of Santa Clara County. The process of formation may be thus briefly described: 
In that year (1853) both the counties were represented in the State Senate by George 
B. Tingley, who was a resident of the latter, and, in the Assembly, the first by Horace 
W. Carpentier and the last by W. S. Letcher and Henry C. Smith, who lived at a 
place then known as New Haven, but which has since been named Alvarado. On 
March 10, 1853, the Legislature being then convened at Benicia, Solano County, Mr. 
Smith, from his place in the Assembly, presented a petition from Santa Clara and Contra 
Costa's residents, praying that a new county, to be called Alameda, be created from 
out of territory then comprised within their limits. Having passed the searching eye 
of the Committee on Counties and County Boundaries the bill entitled " An Act to 
create the county of Alameda and establish the seat of justice therein, to define its 
boundaries, and provide for its organization," was introduced by Mr. Smith, read the 
first and second times, and once more sent to the above-named committee, by whom 
it was reported back on the following day, the nth of March, with the recommenda- 
tion that it be passed. On the 12th it was declared to be correctly engrossed, and on 
the next day, the 13th, it found its way into the presence of the Senate, in which 
august chamber it was amended. These ratifications were returned to the Assembly, 
who, March i8th, signified their concurrence in the amendments of the Upper House, 
whence it was referred back to the Lower Chamber for correction in errors of enroll- 
ment on the 23d; these were declared duly made on the 25th, on which date it was 
presented for the Governor's approval, which it received March 28, 1853. 

After its passage it was found that the Act contained several material defects 
which it was thougnt advisable to amend; therefore, on the 31st of March, Mr. Smith 
introduced an amendatory bill, which passed the Senate on April ist, and finally 
received the signature of Governor John Bright on April 6, 1853. On the 21st of the 
same month, an attempt was made by Mr. Carpentier to have the bill amended so as 
to make Oakland the seat of justice, instead of New Haven or Alvarado, but which 
was rejected, on a vote being taken, by nineteen noes to seventeen ayes. 

The boundaries of the county as prescribed by the above Act were defined as 
follows: — 

Original Boundary of Alameda County. — Beginning at a point at the 
head of a slough, vi^hich is an arm of the Bay of San Francisco, making into the main- 
land in front of the Gfegara Ranchos; thence to a live sycamore tree that stands in a 
ravine between the dwellings of Fluhencia and Valentine Gegara; thence up .said 

Legislative History of the County. 167 

ravine to the top of the mountains; thence in a direct line easterly to the junction of 
the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Counties; thence northwesterly on the west line of 
San Joaquin County to the slough known as the Pescadero; thence westwardly in a 
straight line until it strikes the dividing ridge in the direction of the house of Joel 
Harlan, in Amador Valley; thence westwardly along the middle of said ridge, crossing 
the gulch one-half mile below Prince's Mill; thence to and running upon the dividing 
ridge between the Redwoods known as the San Antonio and Prince's Woods; thence 
along the top of said ridge to the head of the gulch or creek that divides the ranches 
of the Peraltas from those known as the San Pablo Ranches; thence down the middle 
of said gulch to its mouth; and thence westwardly to the eastern line of the County 
of San Francisco; thence along said last-mentioned line to the place of. beginning. 
Seat of justice, Alvarado. 

Present Boundary of Alameda County. — After changes which it is unnec- 
essary to follow here, the boundaries of Alameda County, as at present defined in the 
Political Code of California are: Beginning at the southwest corner, being the com- 
mon corner of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda, as established in Section 
three thousand nine hundred and fifty-one; thence easterly on northerly line of Santa 
Clara, as established in Section three thousand nine hundred and fifty-two, to com- 
mon corner of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Santa Clara and Alameda, as established in 
Section three thousand nine hundred and thirty-two; thence northwesterly, on the 
west line of San Joaquin County, to the slough known as the Pescadero, being the 
west channel, or old San Joaquin River; thence westerly in a straight line, until it 
strikes the dividing ridge, in the direction of the house of ]os6 Harlan, in Amador 
Valley; thence westerly along said ridge, crossing the gulch one-half mile below 
Prince's Mill; thence to and running upon the dividing ridge between the Redwoods 
known as the San Antonio and Prince's Woods; thence along said ridge to the head 
of the gulch or creek (Cerrito Creek) that divides the ranchos of the Peraltas from the 
San Pablo Ranchos; thence down said gulch to its mouth; thence southwesterly to 
the common corner of San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Alameda, as established by 
Section three thousand nine hundred and fifty; thence southerly to a point in the Bay 
of San Francisco that would intersect a line parallel with the north line of the Central 
Pacific Railroad Company's wharf (as it now i.s) if extended five 'hundred feet toward 
Yerba Buena Island; thence southeasterly in a line parallel with the east line of the 
City and County of San Francisco (which is the line now dividing said city and 
county from the County of Alameda) to its intersection with the south line of said 
city and county, as established in Section three thousand nine hundred and fifty; 
thence easterly along said last-mentioned line to the northeast corner of San Mateo; 
and thence southeasterly along the eastern line of San Mateo to the place of begin- 
ning. Horace A. Higley's survey and map of Alameda County, 1857, are declared to 
contain a more particular description of the line out of the Bay of San Francisco. 

County seat, City of Oakland; provided that nothing in this Act contained shall 
be construed to place "Yerba Buena Island," or any part thereof, outside the limits 
of the City and County of San Francisco, but the same shall be deemed to be within 
said city and county, and the westerly boundary line of the County of Alameda shall 

168 History of Alameda County, California. 

not come within two thousand and five hundred feet of any part of said island. 
[Amendment approved March 30, 1874; Amendments 1874-5, 168, took effect six- 
tieth day after passage.*] 

Senatorial Districts.— In the first partition of the State, Contra Costa was 
attached to Santa Clara County for Senatorial purposes. On the creation of Alameda 
County, she was joined to Santa Clara, and formed into the Fourth Senatorial Dis- 
trict, and thus she continued until created into the Ninth Senatorial District. By the 
Act approved March 16, 1874, Alameda County was designated as the Fourteenth 
Senatorial District, to have two Senators, and as such she has remained until the 
present session of the Legislature, when the State was re-districted, and Alameda 
County formed into the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Senatorial Districts, 
with one Senator for each. The First, Fourth, and Sixth Wards of the City of Oak- 
land, together with the election precincts of West Berkeley, Bay, and Ocean View, 
constitute the Sixteenth Senatorial District; the Second, Third, Fifth, and Seventh 
Wards of the City of Oakland, together with the election precincts of East Berkeley, 
Temescal, and Piedmont, constitute the Seventeenth Senatorial District; and that 
portion of Brooklyn Township outside of the City of Oakland, together with the 
Townships of Alameda, Eden, Washington, and Murray, constitute the Eighteenth 
Senatorial District. 

Congressional Districts. — When originally created, Alameda County, with 
those of Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Mono, Calaveras, Amador, El 
Dorado, Sacramento, Placer, Nevada, and Alpine were defined as the Second Con 
gressional District, but by the Act approved March 30, 1872, Mono was segregated 
therefrom, and embodied in the Fourth District. 

The Legislature, kt its recent session (1883), constituted the Counties of Yolo 
Sacramento, Solano, Contra Costa, Marin, and Alameda into the Third Congressional 

Judicial Districts. — The State of California was divided into Judicial Dis- 
tricts March 29, 1850, and John H. Watson became Judge of the Third District' 
which comprised the Counties of Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Mon- 
terey. On the creation of Alameda County, she still continued a portion of that 
district, and so remained until the establishment of Superior Courts. 

Court of Sessions. — The tenth section of the Act creating the County of Ala- 
meda reads: "The County Judge and two Associate Justices of the Peace that may 
be elected from among themselves, shall form a Court of Sessions for the transaction 
of all county business authorized to be transacted by Boards of Supervisors in other 
counties of the State." Courts of Session were first established by Act of the Leg- 
islature, dated April II, 1850, when by legislative enactment they were abolished 

* The original section after the words "down said gulch to its mouth," proceeded as follows: Thence westerly 
to the easterly line of San Francisco, as established in Sectiort three thousand nine hundred and fifty; thence 
southeasterly along the line of San jFrancisco and San Mateo to the place of beginning. Horace A. Higley's 
survey and map of Alameda County, 1857, are declared to contain a more particular description of the line out of 
the Bay of San Francisco. County seat, San Leandro. 

Legislative History of the County. 169 

and succeeded by Boards of Supervisors, May 3, 1852, thus it is that we find the 
first-mentioned body specially delegated to perform the duties of the last-named. 

The Court of Sessions, in which body, as we have said, was vested the entire 
general civil business of the county. The duties imposed upon this organization 
were multifarious. They made such orders respecting the property of the county as 
they deemed expedient, in conformity with any law of the State, and in them were 
vested the care and preservation of said property. They examined, settled and 
allowed all accounts chargeable against the county; directed the raising of such sums 
for the defraying of all expenses and charges against the county, by means of 
taxation on property, real and personal, such not to exceed, however, the one-half 
of the tax levied by the State on such property; to examine and audit the 
accounts of all officers having the care, management, collection, and disbursement of 
any money belonging to the county, or appropriated by law or otherwise, for its use 
or benefit. In them was the power of control and management of public roads, turn- 
pikes, fences, canals, roads, and bridges within the county, where the land did not pro- 
hibit such jurisdiction; and make such orders as should be requisite and necessary to 
carry such control and management into effect; to divide the county into townships, 
and to create new townships, and change the division of the same as the convenience 
of the county should require. They established and changed election precincts; 
controlled and managed the property, real and personal, belonging to the county, and 
purchased and received donations of property for the use of the county, with the 
proviso, that they should not have the power to purchase any real or personal property, 
except such as should be absolutely necessary for the use of the county. To sell 
and cause to be conveyed, any real estate, goods, or chattels belonging to the county, 
appropriating the funds of such sale to the use of the same. To cause to be erected 
and furnished, a Court House, jail, and other buildings, and to see that the same are 
kept in repair, and otherwise to perform all such other duties as should be necessary 
to the full discharge of the powers conferred on such Court. Terms were ordered to 
be held on the second Monday of February, April, June, August, October, and 
December, with quarterly sessions on the third Monday of February, May, August, 
and November of each year. 

The first meeting of the Court of Sessions of Alameda County was held at 
Alvarado, June 6, 1853, Hon. Addison M. Crane, County Judge, and Messrs. I. S. 
Long, and David S. Lacy being Associate Justices of the Peace, when six townships 
were created; but before enumerating these let us see how what is now Alameda 
County was originally divided. 

On April 17, 1850, Contra Costa was partitioned off into three townships, the 
two, however, which bear especially upon our subject being Martinez and San Antonio. 
The limits of the former were: " Commencing at the boundary line of Contra Costa 
County in the Suisun Bay, at the western boundary line of New York Township; 
thence along the western boundary line of said township to its termination on the 
county line, two miles below, or south of Livermore's Rancho; thence along the east- 
ern boundary Ime and down the middle of Alameda Creek to its mouth; thence 
along the -boundary line of Contra Costa County to a point on the bay opposite the 
mouth of the creek running down from the Moraga Redwoods; thence up the middle of 

170 History of Alameda County, California. 

said creek to where it forks, about three miles below the Redwoods; thence along the 
summit of said ridge to an elevated point of land known as Cape Horn; thence in a 
direct line to Pinole Point, at the mouth of the Straits of Carquinez, and to the mid- 
dle of the straits, to the northern boundary line of the county of Contra Costa; thence 
through the middle of the Straits of Carquinez along said county line to the place of 
beginning"; while those of the latter were defined as: "Commencing at the north- 
western boundary line of Martinez Township, on the northern boundary line of Con- , 
tra Costa County; thence along the western boundary line of Martinez Township to 
its termination on the eastern boundary line of San Francisco Couhty; thence along 
the western boundary line of Contra Costa County, at low-water mark, to Golden 
Rock; thence up the middle of San Pablo Bay to the place of beginning." These 
townships were, however, found to be too unwieldy. Thereupon, on the petition of 
certain citizens in the eastern portion of Martinez Township, praying that a portion 
of it should be set off and recognized as a separate division, the county organized the 
Township of Alameda as follows: "Commencing at the mouth of the Redwood 
Creek; thence running up said creek near the Redwoods; thence east to the source 
of the Arroyo San Ramon; thence down the San Ramon to its junction with 
the Euguarto; thence in an easterly direction to the eastern boundary line of the 
county, at the boundary line of New York and Martinez Townships; thence along 
the eastern boundary of the county and township to the place of beginning.'' Upon 
the petition of the citizens of San Antonio Township, the Board of Supervisors, who 
had undertaken the affairs of the county under the Act of the Legislature passed 
May 3, 1852, on August 12th, defined the Township of Contra Costa: "That said 
Township of San Antonio be divided, and ordered that the portion of said township 
being embraced within the limits of the Town of Oakland be set apart, and designated 
the Township of Contra Costa; and that the balance of the present Township of San 
Antonio remain as the Township of San Antonio." Still, the townships would seem 
to have been too large, for the Board of Supervisors, under date October i8, 1852, 
created the Township of San Pablo, and declared its boundaries to be: " All that 
portion of San Antonio Township from the Martinez Township line to the Cerrito of 
San Pablo, be set off from the said Township of San Antonio, and the same be called 
the Township of San Pablo." Besides these, the Townships of San Lorenzo and 
San Antonio were created in the following manner: " That Alamo Township, with 
the present boundary terminating towards the west, with the highest point on the 
ridge of the Contra Costa Range, and San Antonio Township with its present boundary 
from Cerrito down to the San Lorenzo Creek, and two townships be created, the San 
Antonio Township to extend from Cerrito of San Pablo to San Lorenzo, and desig- 
nated the Township of San Antonio; and from San Leandro Creek to the boundary 
line of Santa Clara County be designated San Lorenzo Township." The boundaries 
of Washington Township, as it was when a portion of Santa Clara County, are 
described as follows: " Commencing at the old Santa Clara Bridge on the Guadalupe 
River, and running a northeasterly line to the county line; all north of this line 
bounded on the west by the Guadalupe River shall constitute this township." Upon 
the creation of Alameda, in 1853, this territory was segregated from Santa .Clara and 
thus its ancient associations were given to the newly-formed county. 

Legislative History of the County. 171 

Original Townships of Alameda County. — We have remarked above that 
the first duty of the newly-organized Court of Sessions at their sederunt on June 6, 
1853, was the partitioning of Alameda County into townships. These were as fol- 
lows: — 

Oakland. — Bounded as specified in Chap. CVII., Statutes of 1852. On the 
northeast by a straight line at right angles with Main Street, running from the Bay of 
San Francisco on the north to the southerly line of the San Antonio Creek, or estu- 
ary, crossing Main Street at a point three hundred and sixty rods northeasterly from 
"Oaiklarid House," on the corner of Main and First Streets, as represented on Portoi's 
Map of Contra Costa, on file in the office of the Secretary of State, thence down the 
southerly line of said creek, or slough, to its mouth in the bay; thence to ship chan- 
nel; thence northerly and easterly by the line of ship channel to a point where the 
same bisects the said northeastern boundary line. 

Contra Costa. — Bounded on the north by the north line of the county; on the 
south and southwest by the west line of the county and the northeast hne of the town- 
ship of Oakland, commencing for the southern boundary at the northwest corner of 
Oakland Township, and thence running southeast along the northwest line of said 
township to the Indian Gulch; thence up said gulch easterly to the summit of the 
mountains; thence east to the east boundary of the county; thence northerly along said 
east line to the northeast corner of said county. 

Clinton. — Bounded on the north by the townships of Oakland and Contra Costa; 
on the west by the west line of the county; and for the south and east boundaries, 
commencing at the point where the United States surveyed township line passing east 
and west between the San Leandro and San Lorenzo Creeks crosses the west line of 
said county; and thence running east along said township line to the summit of the 
Coast Range Mountains; and thence north to the east line of the county; and thence 
along said east line to place of beginning. 

Eden. — Commencing at the southwest corner of Clinton Township, and thence 
running east along the south line of. said township to the summit of the Coast Range 
of mountains; thence along said Coast Range summit southerly to the Alameda Creek, 
and thence down said creek to the west line of the county and thence along said west 
line northerly to place of beginning. 

Washington. — Bounded on the north by the township of Eden; on the east by 
the summit of the Coast Range of mountains; on the south by the south line of the 
county; and on the west by the west line of the county. 

Murray. — Shall embrace all the territory of the county not included in the 
townships before specified, and is bounded on the north and east and south by the 
county lines, and on the west by the summit of the Coast Range of mountains. 

These divisions remained intact until December 12, 1853, when the county was 
divided into the following five townships: — 

172 History of Alameda County,- California. 

Oakland. — Bounded on the north by the north line of the county; on the west 
and southwest by the west line of the county, following the bay to the north branch 
of San Antonio Creek; thence south and southeasterly up the north branch of said 
creek to Indian Gulch; thence up said gulch to the summit of the Coast Range of 
mountains; thence east to the eastern boundary of the county; thence northerly along 
said east line to the northeast corner of the county. 

Clinton. — Bounded on the north by Oakland Township; on the west by the west 
line of the county, and on the south and southeast by San Leandro Creek; thence 
following said creek and gulch to the summit of the Coast Range of mountains; thence 
north to the east line of the county; thence along said east line to place of beginning. 

Eden. — Bounded on the north by Clinton Township, following the line of said 
township from the bay to the summit of the Coast Range of mountains; thence along 
said Coast Range summit southerly to the Alameda Creek; thence down said creek 
to the line of the county; thence northerly along said west line to place of begin- 

Washington. — Bounded on the north by Eden Township; on the east by the 
summit of the Coast Range of mountains; on the south by the south line of the county, 
and on the west by the west line of the county. 

Murray. — Shall embrace all the territory of the county not included in the town- 
ships before specified, and is bounded on the north, east, and south by the county lines,, 
and on the west by the summit of the Coast Range of mountains. 

Present Township Boundaries. — This now brings us to the townships which 
obtain at the present writing. These were made the subject of a redistribution by 
the Board of Supervisors on January 5, 1878, and are bounded as follows: — 

Alameda. — Commencing in the center of Harrison (formerly Washington) 
Avenue at Fernside Station, on the Alameda Railroad; thence along the center of 
Washington Avenue to Park Street; thence down the center of San Antonio Creek, 
and along the deepest water channel to the westerly boundary of Alameda County; 
thence southeasterly along the boundary of said county to an angle thereof; thence 
easterly along said county line, and continuing in the same direction to a point in a 
line with the line dividing sections thirty-one and thirty-two, township twck south, 
range three west; thence north along the section line, and continuing to the northeast 
corner of lot one, section nineteen, same township and range; thence northerly to the 
center of Brickyard Slough at the mouth thereof; thence along the center of Brickyard 
Slough to the place of beginning. 

Brooklyn. — Commencing at the center of the Thorn Road (the same being the 
road leading from East Oakland to Moraga Valley), where the same crosses the line 
dividing the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, on the summit of the mountains 
being also the easterly corner of Oakland Township; thence southwesterly along the cen- 
ter of said road to the head of Indian Gulch; thence down said gulch to the north branch 
of the estuary of San Antonio (the same being now known as Lake Merritt); thence 

Legislative History of the County. 173 

down said branch,. following the deepest water channel thereof, to said estuary; thence 
easterly along the deepest water channel of said estuary and along the slough to the 
bridge crossing the same on Park Street; thence along the center of Washington 
Avenue to Fernside Station on the Alameda Railroad; thence along the center of 
Brickyard Slough to the mouth' thereof; thence in a southerly direction to the north- 
east corner of lot one, section nineteen, township two south, range three west; thence 
south along the section line to the southwest corner of section twenty-nine, same town- 
ship and range aforesaid; thence east to the intersection of the road leading northerly 
to Halverson's Landing on the south line of lot six, section twenty-eight; thence along 
said road to Halverson's Landing, on the San Leandro Creek; thence up the center 
of said creek, following the meanderings thereof, to the intersection of the line divid- 
ing the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa; thence northwesterly along said 
county line to the place of beginning. 

Eden. — Commencing at a post set at the junction of North Creek and Alameda 
Creek; thence up North Creek, following the meanderings thereof to the "Mathewson 
Ditch " ; thence up said ditch to the road leading from Alameda to the Half-wiy 
House, on the mountain road; thence north 45 ^° east, one hundred and eight and 
six-hundredths chains to a point on C. Gresel's land, at which the line of the " Math- 
ewson Ditch" produced intersects the old township line between Eden and Washington 
Townships, from which point the southwest corner of said Gresel's land, and the north- 
west corner of George Emmerson's land, bears south i8^°, west four and two-hun- 
dredths chains; thence east along the old township line four hundred and sixty-eight 
and ninety-seven-hundredths chains to a post on the top of a rock mound on the 
summit of the range of hills forming the westerly boundary of Murray Township, 
from which point the quarter-section corner in the center of section twenty-two, town- 
ship three south, range one west, bears south 81 j{°, west seventeen and ninety-three- 
hundredths chains, and the house of Joseph Davis bears north 78°, west twenty chains, 
the same being the township corner as established by survey of L. Castro, County 
Surveyor of Alameda County, and filed in the office of the County Clerk of Alameda 
County, June 12, 1871; thence north along the summit of the mountains to the inter- 
section of the line dividing Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, intersecting said 
•county line on the line dividing sections thirty-three and thirty-four, township two 
south, range one west; thence along said county line in a northwesterly direction to 
the intersection of San Leandro Creek; thence down said creek, following the mean- 
derings thereof, to Halverson's Landing; thence southwesterly along the road leading 
to Bay Farm, to the south line of lot six, section twenty-eight; thence west along the 
south line of section twenty-eight and the south line of section twenty-nine, township 
two south, range three west; thence west to the southwest corner of said section twenty- 
nine, the same being on the line of Alameda Township, and being also the southwest 
corner of Brooklyn Township; thence south to the southeast corner of Alameda Town- , 
ship; thence west to the Alameda County line intersecting the same at the easterly 
angle thereof; thence southeasterly along the county line to a point due west of the 
mouth of Union City Slough; thence east to the mouth of said slough; thence up said 
slough to a post at the junction of North Creek and Alameda Creek, the same being 
the place of beginning. 

174 History of Alameda County, California. 

Murray. — The township of Murray shall be bounded as follows: On the north, 
east, and south by the boundary of Alameda. County, and for a westerly boundary, 
commencing at the intersection of the Arroyo Honda, by the southern boundary of 
Alameda County; thence down the center of Calaveras Creek to the Alameda 
Creek; thence down the center of Alameda Creek to the intersection of the 
line dividing the east half of section twelve, township four south, range one west, 
from west half of said section ; thence north along the quarter section line to the 
north line of section thirty-six, township three south, range one west; thence west 
along the north line of sections thirty-six and thirty-five to the summit of the mount- 
ains; thence in a northwesterly direction, following the summit of the mountains along 
the easterly boundaries of Washington and Eden Townships, to the northerly bound- 
ary of Alameda County intersecting the same on the line dividing sections thirty- 
three and thirty-four, township two south, range one west. 

Oakland. — The township of Oakland shall be bounded on the north and 
northeast by the line dividing Alameda and Contra Costa Counties; on the west 
and southwest by the southwesterly boundary of Alameda County on the Bay of 
San Francisco; and for a southeasterly and southerly boundary, as follows: Commenc- 
ing on the summit of the mountains in the center of the Thorn Road (the same being 
the road leading from East Oakland to Moraga Valley) where the same crosses the 
line dividing the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa ; thence southwesterly along 
the center of said road to the head of Indian Gulch ; thence down said gulch to the 
north branch of the estuary of San Antonio (the same being now known as Lake 
Merritt); thence down said north branch of the estuary of San Antonio and along 
the deepest water channel of said estuary, and continuing in the same direction to 
the southwesterly boundary of Alameda County. 

Washington. — Commencing at a post set at the junction of North Creek and 
Alameda Creek; thence up North Creek, following the meanderings thereof, to the 
"Mathewson Ditch"; thence up said ditch to the road leading from Alvarado to the 
Half-Way House, on the Mountain Road ; thence north 45 %°, each one hundred and 
eight and six-one-hundredths chains to a point on C. Gresel's land, at which the line 
of the " Mathewson Ditch" produced intersects the old township line between Eden 
and Washington Townships, from which point the southwest corner of said Gresel's 
land, and the northwest corner of George Emmerson's land, bears south i8j^°, west 
four and two-one-hundredths chains ; thence easterly along the old township line four 
hundred and sixty-eight and ninety-seven-one-hundredths chains to post on the top 
of a rock mound on the summit of the range of hills forming the westerly boundary 
of Murray Township, from which point the quarter section corner in the center of 
section twenty-two, township three south, range one west, bears Bi}(°, west seventeen 
and ninety-three-one-hundredths chains, and the house of Joseph Davis bears north 
78°, west twenty chains, the same being the township corner as established by survey 
of L. Castro, County Surveyor of Alameda County, and filed in the office of the 
County Clerk of Alameda County, June 12, 1871 ; thence in a southeasterly direction 
along the summit of the mountains to the north line of section thirty-five, township 
three south, range one west ; thence east to the northeast corner of the northwest quarter 

Legislative History of the County. 175 

of section thirty-six ; thence south along the quarter section line to the Alameda 
Creek, intersecting the same on the line dividing the east half from the west half of 
section twelve, township four south, range one west ; thence up the center of said 
creek to the junction of the Arroyo Laguna.; thence up the center of Calaveras Creek 
to the Arroyo Honda; thence up the Arroyo Honda to the intersection of the south- 
erly boundary of Alameda County ;.thehce westerly along 'the southerly boundary of 
Alameda County to the summit of Monument Peak ; thence southwesterly along the 
county line to the Bay of San Francisco ; thence northwesterly, following the south- 
westerly boundary of the county, to a point due west of the mouth of Union City 
Slough ; thence to the mouth of said slough ; thence up said slough to a post at the 
junction of North Creek and Alameda Creek, the same being the place of beginning- 

Board of Supervisors. — Up until the passage of the Act of March 9, 1855, 
which created a Board of Supervisors for Alameda, the Court of Sessions had full 
control of the affairs of the county; it was repealed, however, April 3, 1856, that Act 
ordering that the county should, in all respects, be subject to the provisions of "An 
Act to Create a Board of Supervisors in the Counties of this State, and Define their 
Duties and Powers," approved March 20, 1855, which Act, with subsequent amend- 
ments, has been the law under which the several Boards have since acted. The first 
Board of Supervisors for Alameda County consisted of Henry C. Smith, Washington 
Township; J. W. Dougherty, Murray Township; S. D. Taylor, Eden Township; J. L- 
Sahford, Clinton Township ; James Millington, Alameda Township ; J. L. Sanford, 
Oakland Township ; Mr. Dougherty being chosen Chairman. 

Election Precincts. — When the vote for the Old Constitution was taken on 
November 13, 1849, there were but three election precincts within what was then 
known as Contra Costa County — namely, at the Moraga Redwoods, Martinez, and 
San Antonio (now Brooklyn, Alameda County). For the election of April i, 1850, 
the precinct of New York was added to those already created, while, on October 7th 
of the same year, the precincts were Martinez, San Antonio, San Ramon (Dublin), 
and New York. The first record, however, which we can find of a distribution of 
■voting precincts is f r the election called for September 3, 1851, when the following 
polling places were eslablished: At the Court House in the town of Martinez, and 
the house of Jos6 Maria Amador, for the township of Martinez; the houses of Victor 
Castro and Vicente Peralta, in and for the township of San Antonio ; and the house of 
William W. Smith in Antioch, and at the Lower Ferry on the San Joaquin River, in and 
for the township of New York. The polls in Washington Township were at the store 
of H. C. Smith, an election being there held on May 4, 1850, when Lone Kemble 
was Inspector. These, with a few additions, continued until the creation of Alameda 
County, when, August i, 1853, the following were declared the first election precincts: 
In Washington Township, at the mission of San Jos^ at the room next easterly of 
Howard & Chamberlain's store; and at the town of Alvarado, at the room there used 
for a Court lion : In Eden Township, at the house of William Hayward, and at 
the hous? ot ^ Cowlcs. In Clinton Township, at the house of James B. Larue, and 
at the hou- c: C --.: ■ J'.ay, and at the saw-mill of Tupper & Hamilton. In Oak- 
land Township, at th. "fice of A. Marier. In Contra Costa Township, at the house 

176 History of Alameda County, California. 

of Seth R. Bailey, and at the house of A. E. Hutchinsdn. In Murray Township, at 
the house of Michael Murray. 

Naturally, when the. increase of population has been so great, the precincts 
enumerated above have proved insufficient for the wants of the voters, until at the 
election called for November 7, 1882, the number of precincts were forty, as follows: 
Alameda Township: Alameda, Nos. One, Two, and Three; Brooklyn Township: 
Brooklyn, No. One, two precincts; Brooklyn No. Two; Oakland Township: Berkeley, 
West Berkeley, Bay Precinct, Temescal, Ocean View, Piedmont; Oakland City: First 
Ward, three precincts ; Second Ward, two precincts ; Third Ward, two precincts ; Fourth 
Ward, two precincts; Fifth Ward; Sixth Ward, two precincts. Eden Township, San 
Leandro, San Lorenzo, Haywards, Mt. Eden, Castro Valley; Washington Township: 
Alvarado, Centreville, Mission San Jos4 Niles, Newark; Murray Township: Sunol^ 
Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore No. One, Livermore No. Two, Altamont. 

Road Districts. — Another criterion of the rapid development of a hitherto 
sparsely-peopled country is the want immediately felt for carefully laid out roads and 
easy means of transport. He who has experienced such a desire can fully appreciate 
the comfort of well-graded thoroughfares and smoothly macadamized streets. The 
scarcely- to-be-recognized trails give place, as if by magic, to the skill of the surveyor; 
the dangerous ford to the well-built bridge and the impenetrable undergrowth to the 
road-maker's ax. In a few short years miraculous changes are worked, and science 
brings places within comfortable travel and neighbors within ken. Contra Costa in 
the pre- American days was not a whit better off than the neighboring counties ; when 
the first roads were laid out, however, we have been unable to trace, but the records 
of the Court of Sessions inform us that as early as July 20, 1850, the county was 
partitioned into districts and the following roads declared public highways: — 

One and Two. — From Martinez Xo Pueblo de San Jos4 divided into two districts, 
the first being from Martinez to the farm of Francisco Garcia ; the second from thence 
to the line dividing the counties of Contra Costa and Santa Clara, the overseers 
appointed being respectively N. B. Smith and Joseph Rothenhostler. Three. — The 
streets in the town of Martinez were declared to be District Number Three and . 
placed under the supervision of A. Van Heme Ellis. Four. — The road then usu- 
ally traveled from Martinez by the house of Salvio Pacheco to the town of New 
York of the Pacific was classed as District Number Four, with Henry F. Joye, Over- 
seer. Five. — The road from the Moraga Redwoods to that leading from Martinez to 
San Jos^, terminating on said road nearly equidistant from Martinez to the house of 
Widow Welch, was established as District Number Five, and E. Miller appointed 
Overseer. Six. — The road usually traveled from the rancho of Vicente CaStro by the 
rancho of Elam Brown, intersecting the road from the Moraga Redwoods to Martinez 
near the house of Jonah Bernell was defined as District Number Six, and Elam Brown 
appointed Overseer. Seven. — The road leading from the crossing of the San Joaquin 
to the Pueblo de San Jos^ by the rancho of Robert Livermore, and to where it inter- 
sects that leading from Martinez to the Pueblo de San Jos^ as belonged to the county 
of Contra Costa, was declared to be District Number Seven,- and placed in charge of 
Greene Patterson, Overseer. 

cyc>^^ iyl^cc4i^ e^w;*^ 

Legislative History of the County. 177 

After the creation of Alameda, the matter of public highways throughout the 
county attracted considerable attention. The "Carpentier-Gilman Bridge" had been 
already established, but this was a private enterprise where exorbitant tolls were 
levied, but so soon as the official machinery was in working order, petitions for roads 
began to flock in, the first to be declared a "public highway," being the thoroughfare 
then traveled, leading from the county line east of the Mission de San Jos^ and to 
said mission; thence through Amador Valley, and known as the Stockton Road- 
But we have not the space at our disposal to follow the hundreds of petitions for road 
purposes as they appear in the records of the Court of Sessions and Board of Super- 
visors. To give even an outline of each would more than fill a volume of no ordinary 
proportions. As the fertile districts were settled, each new arrival felt the want of 
some avenue of outlet from his homestead; connection was needed with the main 
arteries of traffic; the inevitable petition to the authorities was transmitted to the proper 
quarter, and, where the necessity was proved, never was the prayer rejected. With 
the opening out of fresh highways, more districts were imperatively necessary; with 
the creation of these districts, it was as necessary to appoint Overseers, and now Ala- 
meda County is blessed with a large number of districts and a net-work of roads, 
better than which there are none in California. 

On June 6, 1853, the Court of Sessions ordered that the county should be parti- 
tioned into the following seven Road Districts: — 

Road District No. I, to embrace the highway leading from Union City to the 
Mission San Josd, extending two miles each side thereof, of which Charles Breyfogle 
was appointed Supervisor. 

Road District No. 2, to embrace the highway leading from the Mission San Jose, 
running in the direction of the Pueblo de San Jos4 to the county line of Santa Clara 
County, of which William H. Chamberlain was appointed Supervisor. 

Road District No. 3, to embrace the highway leading from Mission San Jos^ in 
the direction of Stockton, through the Amador Valley, to the crossing of the Alameda 
Creek, of which A. Marshall was appointed Supervisor. 

Road District No. 4, to embrace that part of the highway leading from the Mis- 
sion San Jos^ to Stockton, which lies between the Alameda Creek and the house of 
Robert Livermore, of which Robert Livermore was appointed Supervisor. 

Road District No. 5, to commence at a point opposite the house of Robert. Liv- 
ermore, and thence embrace all that part of the main traveled highway leading to 
Stockton, up to the east line of the county, for which a Supervisor was appointed. 

Road District No. 6, to commence at the town of Oakland and run thence along 
the highway, extending two miles each side thereof, to the house of Vicente Peralta, 
of which Francis K. Shattuck was appointed Supervisor. 

Road District No. 7, to commence at Oakland and run thence to the north line 
of the county, near the house of Vicente Peralta, and R. M. Randall was^ appointed. 
Supervisor, his jurisdiction to extend two miles each way from the above line. 

It was at the same time ordered that Road Districts Nos. 2, 3, and 5 should 
extend two miles each side of the highways designated as their boundaries. 

At the present time the Road Districts are thirty-four in number, as follows: 
Alvarado, Sebastian Franz, Overseer; Alviso, James Hawley; Bay; Brooklyn, J. P. 

178 History of Alameda County, California. 

Condon; Castro Valley, John Cahill; Centreville, James A. Trefry; Cosmopolitan, J. 
C. Whipple; Dublin, William Tehan; Eden Vale, J. H. Davis; Inman, J. Galway; 
Laurel, James King; Lincoln, E. Munyan; Mission San Jos^ D. C. Hibbard; How- 
ry's Landing, Edward Ryan; Mount Eden, E. Clawiter, Jr.; Murray, Philip Thorn; 
Niles, Thomas Bonner; Newark, G. G. Healey; Ocean View, B. D. Boswell; Peralta> 
H. C. Babcock; Polamares, W. J. Ramage; Piedmont, J. O'Connor; Pleasanton, L. 
M. Lyster; Redwood, E. D. Brown; Rosedale, L. Hollenbeck; San Lorenzo, Leonard 
Stone; Summit, C. Elliott; Sunol, J. Madden; Stony Brook, J. D. Farwell; Temescal. 
E. J. Sayer; Townsends, W. W. Wynn; Vallecitos, E. H. Frick, Jr.; Warm Springs' 
R. J. Horner; Washington, J. N. Smith. 

School Districts. — The first School Districts in Alameda County were 
divided in consonance with the townships which then obtained, but such a partition 
embraced too large a territory, therefore alterations became necessary, like in the 
townships themselves. Boundaries and limitation lines were perpetually being altered 
at the solicitation of innumerable petitioners. The authorities, ever with an eye to 
the people's welfare, in most cases granted the prayer, until, after an infinity of rectifi- 
cations, the present school districts of the county number forty-five, and are named: 
Alameda, Alvarado, Alviso, Bay, Castro Valley,, Centreville, Cosmopohtan, Eden Vale. 
Eureka, Fruit Vale, Green, Harris, Inman, Laurel, Lincoln, Livermore, Lockwood> 
May, Melrose, Midway, Mission, Mountain House, Mowry's Landing, Murray, Niles, 
Oakland, Ocean View, Polamares, Peralta, Piedmont, Pleasanton, Redwood, Rosedale, 
San Lorenzo, Stony Brook, Supimit, Sunol, Temescal, Townsend, Union, Vallecitos, 
Vista, Warm Springs, Washington, Wilson. 


We now come to the second branch of the Legislative History of Alameda, 
namely, that which may be termed the Political History of the County. This, it is 
to be feared, however, may be considered a misnomer, as in the rest of this chapter 
much will be found which in itself has no political significance, while a considerable 
amount may be recognized as purely political. All our information has been garnered 
from the well-kept records of the Court of Sessions and Board of Supervisors, who, 
though exercising political functions, still have authority over affairs not political; 
therefore the remarks made below may be said to relate more to the government of 
the county, than to its politics. 

Mexican Government. — ^The following interesting account of the political 
aspect of California, found among the papers left by the late Doctor John Marsh, of 
Contra Costa County, has been kindly placed at our disposal by Hon. W. W. Camron 
of Oakland, and will be read with interest as being the remarks of a polished scholar 
and gentleman, who had at the time of the acquiring of the State by the United States, 
' been more than ten years a resident of California. 

After the decease of General Figueroa (who governed Alta California from 1833 
to 1835) the right to govern was assumed by Gutierrez (1835), the senior officer of 
the military, and Estudillo, the oldest member of the Legislature, or Primer Vocal, to 
whom it appertained as a matter of right by the civil law; but as might is apt to 

Political History of the County. 179 

decide matters of right all over the world, and more particularly in Spanish America, 
he retained the command until the Spring of 1836. At this time a new Governor 
arrived from Mexico in the person of General D. Mariano Chico, member of the Mex- 
ican Congress, and with many long and magnificent titles. His first act was to 
issue a proclamation in most .grandiloquent terms, greatly praising the docility and 
patriotism of the people of the country, and telling them that they owed him a debt of 
gratitude for having left his dear wife and belovfed children, and taken so long a jour- 
ney, from pure love of the people of California and his desire to serve them. He was 
the friend to Victoria (the Governor who ruled in . the year 1 829), pursued the same 
outrageous course of conduct, and shared the same fate. He arrived fully determined 
to take vengeance on those individuals who had been chiefly instrumental in expelling 
Victoria. Like him he chartered a vessel in which to send his opponents to Mexico, 
not omitting the American gentleman whom Victoria had attempted to send ; and, to 
. complete the parallel, he was himself compelled to leave the country in the same 
vessel he had designed for his adversaries. Gutierrez then assumed the command a 
second time. A few months after this event, Don Juan B. Alvarado, who, at that 
time, held a subordinate employment in the Custom House, had a quarrel with the com- 
mandant, Gutierrez, relative to the posting of a guard of soldiers on the beach, whether 
to assist or prevent the smuggling of a vessel in port was best known to the parties 
concerned. High words and mutual threats ensued. Alvarado went in the night to 
consult his friend, Jos^ Castro, and the next' day, they both went to the Pueblo de 
San Jos^, and thence to Sonoma to confer with the officer in command of. that post. 
They mutually agreed to expel Gutierrez, and all the Mexican employes of every class. 
They assembled in haste a few people from the neighboring farms, and repaired to 
Monterey in a secret manner. In this promiscuous assemblage were about twenty or 
thirty foreigners ; some five or six were American hunters. These were under the 
command of I. Graham, a hunter from Kentucky, and John Coppinger, an Irishman. 
They took possession of the old fort without opposition, and fired one shot at the pre- 
sidio in which the Mexicans were. Negotiations immediately took place, which ended 
in a capitulation of all the Mexicans, who were forthwith embarked for the coast of 
San Bias (a port in the State of Guadalaxara,. Mexico). The California patriots, who 
had succeeded beyond their own expectations, hardly knew what to do with their cheaply 
bought victory. They, however, issued various contradictory proclamations, in one of 
which they declared themselves independent of Mexico until the re-establishment of the 
Federal Constitution. Alvarado was declared Governor (i 836), and General M. G. Val- 
lejo. Military Chief All this was done by the people of the northern part of the 
country, and particularly of Monterey, while all the southern districts were opposed 
to the new order of things. After a series of bloodless campaigns and paper battles, 
peace was restored by giving ample spoils from the missions to the principal aspi- 
rants. Mexico, in the meantime, fulminated furious proclamations and awful threats 
against, such unnatural sons of the Republic. 

After Alvarado had enjoyed his usurped authority about a year, he was acknowl- 
edged as legitimate Governor by Mexico (1838); and he himself, with the greatest 
facility, swore fealty to the Central Government. The administration of Alvarado, 
as the only one in which the Government had been for any length of time in the hands 

180 History of Alameda County, California. 

of a native, for its long duration and for the important events which took place under 
it, must be considered as the most important era in the Mexican domination over 
California. It has become a portion of the history of the country, and as such has 
become a legitimate subject for discussion. Taken as a whole, it must be regarded as 
an entire failure. It entirely failed to accomplish any part of the good it promised at 
the outset, and has only served to perpetuate the evils it proposed to remove. The 
friends of good order and a just administration of the laws, of whom, notwithstanding 
appearances, the number had always been considerable, had great hopes of seeing 
better times at the commencement of Alvarado's government. His constant declara- 
tion was: " Let me have a little time to tranquilize the country, and I will provide for 
the strict enforcement of the laws and the punishment of crimes and offenses." But, 
after being in office more than five years, he left things in a worse condition than he 
found them. Even if we give him credit for good intentions at the beginning, he 
never had the necessary knowledge, intelligence, or firmness of purpose to have done 
any good for the country. The whole period of -his administration was a perpetual 
struggle to inaintain himself in office. He was compelled to make every kind of 
concession to preserve even the ostensible support of pretended friends. The wealth 
of the missions, which at the beginning of his administration was very considerable, 
had, in this way, been completely exhausted. All these, together with the revenue 
derived from the Customs, amounting in the aggregate to a vast sum, were lavished 
on his relatives, partisans, and favorites, and, at last, when he had nothing more to 
give, he found himself deserted. (About 1849, Don Juan B. Alvarado, removed from 
Monterey to San Pablo, Contra Costa County, where he resided up to the time of his 
death, July 13, 1882.) 

The most prominent event in the administration of Alvarado, and the one that will 
be longest remembered, is his attempt to expel, by force, all the foreigners, and particu- 
larly Americans, from the country. The true motives which led to this step, were, for 
along time, involved in obscurity. The facts as far as could be known at the time are 
handed down by Doctor Marsh in these words: " It was secretly determined by 
Governor Alvarado and his friend and compadre, Don Jos^ Castro, that they would 
seize and transport to Mexico all the. foreigners, and particularly Americans, that 
were in California, and, as a pretext, they pretended that they had discovered a secret 
conspiracy of the foreign residents to kill the Governor, Military Commandant, and 
some others, and to possess themselves of the country. This was so manifestly false, 
that no person could be made to believe it after the first few^days. One solution of 
the affair is; that as Castro was at bitter enmity with Vallejo, the Military Com- 
mander, and desired to supplant him in his office, and knowing, at the same time, 
that public opinion in Mexico at the time was highly exasperated against Americans, 
on account of the recent defeat and disaster of the Mexican arms in Texas, and that 
he, by feigning the conspiracy of the Americans in California, and capturing and 
carrying them prisoners to Mexico, would thereby acquire to himself great merit with 
the Government, and by that means obtain the office to which he aspired. This 
opinion derived additional probabilities at the time from a knowledge of the character 
of Castro — artful, subtile, intriguing, utterly unprincipled, and grossly ignorant The 
project, however, was concerted and executed with considerable skill. 

Political History of the County. 181 

"At an appointed time, the foreigners, who lived widely dispersed in almost 
every part of the country, entirely unprepared and without the least apprehension of 
danger, were seized and marched to Monterey' by night, strongly guarded. Isaac 
Graham, who has been heretofore mentioned, was captured by Castro himself, with 
his own chosen followers. The house was attacked at midnight, the door forced open, 
and a volley of fire-arms discharged at Graham and his partner, Nale, before they had 
left their beds. Nale received two severe wounds, and was left for dead. Graham 
was knocked down, severely beaten, bound and carried to Monterey, where he was 
heavily ironed and strictly guarded. For the next week, more or less men were daily 
brought in, loaded with irons, and thrust into a loathsome prison, which was so 
crowded that space was not left to lie down. At last the ship arrived which had been 
chartered to transport them, and they were marched on board like criminals, between 
two files of soldiers. Graham, alone, was not suffered to walk, but with his irons still 
upon him, was carried on board on the shoulders of Indians. The brutal treatment 
of these men on their voyage to San Bias, and on the route from that port to the City 
of Tepic, I shall not attempt to describe, as I have no desire to stir up feelings that 
may as well be left at rest, but it may well be believed that feelings were excited, aye, 
deep and burning feelings, that will not be soon forgotten by the witnesses as well as 
the victims of these horrible acts of cruelty and injustice. On the arrival at Tepic, 
they were taken from the hands of Castro and his myrmidons by the influence of the 
British Consul, and, although still prisoners, were treated with kindness. After a long 
detention, during which several of the number died, by the strenuous interposition of 
the British Minister in Mexico, they were fully liberated, and those who chose to return 
to California were sent back at the expense of the Government. From some docu- 
ments, which have but very recently come to light, it is rendered probable, and in fact 
almost certain, that the foreigners were seized and sent away prisoners by the express 
order of the Government of Mexico, which they were afterwards base enough to deny." 

So far we have gained an insight unto the feelings of some of the native Califor- 
nians regarding foreigners, and which shows a bitter enmity to their presence in the 
country. It will be our duty now to place before the reader the manner of govern- 
ment whereby these people were guided. 

'Prior to the year 1839, not much is known of the political divisions of Upper 
California; on February 26th of that year Governor Alvarado dubbed it a Depart- 
ment, and partitioned it into three districts. In the second of these was the original 
Contra Costa section. The government was vested in a Governor and Departmer>tal 
Assembly, from which was constituted the Legislative Assembly that held its sessions 
in Monterey, the then capital. In order of precedence, the political officers next to, 
the Governor were the Prefects, having jurisdiction over districts; Sub-Prefects, 
Ayuntamientos or Town Councils, Alcaldes, and Justices of the Peace. 

We are informed, on reliable authority, the Mexican law contemplated the 
formation of a Superior Tribunal for each department, and that provision for the 
establishment of such a Court, with two lesser ones for California, had been made. 
The tribunal was to be composed of four Judges and one Attorney-General, the senior 
three of the former to sit upon the first, and the junior one on the second bench. 
This latter, known as the Court of Second Instance, heard appeals from the Court of 

182 History of Alameda County, California. 

First Instance and had original jurisdiction in certain cases. The senior court sat at 
the capital of the Department, while that of the First Instance held its sessions at the 
chief town in a district, where it exercised a general jurisdiction and attended to cases 
involving more than one hundred dollars, those for a less sum being tried by the 
Alcalde and Justice of the Peace. 

There is no record of a Superior Tribunal ever having been established in Cali- 
fornia under the Mexican Government, and no Court of First Instance in San Jos^, 
the chief town of the district now under consideration, until 1849, when they were 
commissioned by the authority of the United States. The first Alcalde to be thus 
installed, for the Contra Costa, was the honored pioneer, Hon. Elam Brown, N. B. 
Smith being the first Sub-Prefect of the district. 

The law was administered then in a peculiarly lax manner; fortunately or unhap- 
pily, as the case may be, lawyers had not yet penetrated into the supposed wilds of 
the Pacific Slope. The Alcalde's word was the supremest effort of legal wisdom; his 
silver-headed cane a badge of office which the most captious must respect, and could 
not gainsay, while, there being no prisons, it was usual to sentence the Indian to be 
flogged, and others to be fined. 

Military Government. — Between the years 1846 and 1849 the country 
remained under the control of the United States military. In regard to law it was 
utterly at sea. A military commander controlled affairs, but there was no Govern- 
ment. As long as the war lasted it was only natural to expect that such would be 
the case, and the people were content; but after peace had been attained,- and the 
succession of Military Governors remained unabated, a people who had been brought 
up to govern themselves under the same flag and the same Constitution chafed that 
a simple change of longitude should deprive them of their inalienable rights. With 
those views General Riley, who succeeded General Persifer F. Smith, April 13, 1849, 
entirely sympathized. When it was found that Congress had adjourned without effect- 
ing anything for California, he issued a proclamation, June 3d, which was at once a 
call for a convention and an official exposition of the administration's theory of the 
anomalous relations of California and the Union. He strove to rectify the dominant 
impression that California was ruled by the military. That had ceased with the 
termination of hostilities, and what remained was the civil government, which was 
vested in a Governor appointed by the Supreme Government, or, in default of suchr 
appointment, the office was vested in the commanding military officer of the Depart- 
ment, a Secretary, a Departmental or Territorial Legislature, a Superior Court with 
four Judges, a Prefect and Sub-Prefect, and a Judge of the First Instance for each 
district, Alcaldes, Justices of the Peace, and Town Councils. General Riley, more- 
over, recommended the election, at the same time, of delegates to a convention to 
adopt either- a State or Territorial Constitution, which, if acquiesced in by the people, 
would be submitted to Congress. The proclamation stated the number of delegates 
which each district should elect, and also announced that appointments to the judi- 
ciary offices would be made after being voted for. The delegates from the district of 
which we then formed a portion to the Convention were Joseph Aram, Kimball H. 
Dimmick, J. D. Hoppe, Antonio M. Pico, Elam Brown, Julian Hanks, and Pedro Sain- 

Political History of the County. 


CONOTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. — On September i, 1849, the Convention met 
at Moruerey, Robert Semple, of Benicia, one of the delegates from the District of 
Sonoma, bcinj chosen President. The session lasted six weeks, and, notwithstanding 
an aj^kward scarcity of books of reference and other necessary aids, much labor was 
performed, while the debates exhibited a marked degree of ability. In framing the 
original Constitution-of California slavery was forever prohibited within the jU.isdic- 
tion of the State; the boundary question between Mexico and the United States was 
set at rest; provision for the morals and education of the people made; a seal of 
State was adopted, with the motto EuREKA, and many other subjects discussed. The 
Constitution was duly framed, submitted to the people, and at the electon held on the 
1 3th of November, ratified by them and adopted by a vote of twelve thousand and 
sixty-four for and eleven again>t it, there being, besides, over twelve hundred ballots 
that were treated as blanks, because of an informality in the printing. The vote of ' 
the District of San Jos6 on the occasion was five hundred and sixty-seven votes for 
and nine against its adoption, while five hJundred and seventeen votes were cast for 
Peter H. Burnett as Governor. In Contra Costa, on that occasion, one hundred and 
seventeen votes were polled at the three precincts then established; Governor Burnett 
received seventy-four votes; Lieutenant-Governor John McDougal thirty-one, and F. 
J. Lippett sixty-four, while W. R. Bascom, of San Jose, was elected Senator, and 
Elam Brown, of Lafayette, Contra Costa County, Joseph Aram, Dr. Ben. Cory, and 
J. H. Mathews were sent to the Lower House of the State Legislature, Edward Gil- 
bert and George W. Wright being sent to Congress. 

Aniong those who took a prominent part in the Convention were Hon. Chas.. T. 
Bottsand J. Ross Browne, who was its official reporter, both gentlemen long associated 
with Alameda County. 

We here reproduce, as curiosities, two of the tickets which were voted at the 
time, and distributed in and around Sacramento and the upper portion of the State: — 





John A. Sutter. 


John McDougal. 


William E. Shannon, 

Pet. Halstead. 

John Bidwell, Upper Sacramento, 
Murray Morrison, Sacramento City, 
Harding Bigelow, Sacramento City, 
Gilbert A. Grant, Vernon. 

H. C. Cardwell, Sacramento City, 
P. B. Cornwall, Sacramento City, 
John S. Fowler, Sacramento City, 
J. Sherwood, 
Elisha W. McKinstry, 
Madison Waltham, Coloma, 
W. B. Dickenson, Yuba, 
Tames Queen, South Fork, 
W. L. Jenkin, Weaverville. 



Peter H. Burnett. 


John McDougal. 


Edward Gilbert, 

George W. Wright. 

John Bidwell, Upper Sacramento, 
Murray Morrison, Sacramento City, 
Harding Bigelow, Sacramento City, 
Gilbert A. Grant, Vernon. 

H. C. Cardwell, Sacramento City, 
P. B. Cornwall, Sacramento City, 
John S. Fowler, Sacramento City, 
H. S. Lord, Upper Sacramento, 
Madison Waltham, Coloma, 
W. B. Dickenson, Yuba, 
James Queen, South Fork, 
Arba K Berry. Weaverville. 

184 History of Alameda County, California. 

The popular voice also made San Jos6 the Capital; but let us here describe the 
interesting preliminaries attending this consummation. 

San Jos^ Made the State Capital. — During the session of the Conveijtion 
the residents of San Jos^, in public meeting assembled, elected a committee to pro- 
ceed to Monterey, to there use their utmost endeavors with the members to have San 
Jose named in the Constitution the State Capital. They found a staunch opponent 
at once in the person of Dr. Robert Semple, the President, who coveted the honor 
for his then rising towr]. of Benicia, he offering at the time that if the favorers of the 
San Josdscheme would agree to permit the first session to be held at the former place he 
doubted not but the permanent location at the latter could be readily effected. This, 
however, did not suit the views of San Josh's plenipotentiaries, and, as if to bait the 
hook, they emphatically promised to be ready with a suitable building by the i Sth of 
December, about the time when the Legislature would sit — a rash promise enough 
when is taken into consideration the fact that such an edifice had not then been 
completed in the town. Let us see how the pledge was redeemed. At that time there 
stood on the east side of what is now called Market Square, San Jos^ a large adobe 
structure, erected in the year 1 849 by Sainsevain and Rochon, which was meant by them 
for a hotel. This edifice, as the most suitable the town could offer for a State House, 
the -Ayuntamiento, or Town Council, proposed to rent for the Legislature, but the 
price asked was so exorbitant, four thousand dollars per month, that it was deemed 
best to purchase the building outright; but here the proprietors declared themselves 
unwilling to take the public authorities as security, who were consequently placed in 
the two-fold dilemma of being without the requisite funds to effect the purchase and 
no credit to rent it. Happily those citizens in whose coffers lay most of the 
wealth, rather than see the future glories attendant on the presence of the Legislature 
in San Jose glide from them, with marvelous generosity came forward to save the 
honor of the delegates to the Convention, as well as the credit of the Town Council, 
and nineteen of them executed a note for the price asked, thirty-four thousand dol- 
lars, with interest at the rate of eight per cent, per month from date until paid. A 
conveyance was made to three of their number, who held the premises in trust for 
the purchasers, to be ultimately conveyed to the Town Council when it could pay 
for them. An appropriation of fifty thousand dollars, purchase money for the build- 
ing, was made by the Legislature, and bonds bearing interest at the rate of two and 
one-half per cent, per month for that amount were issued; but the credit of the new 
State, unfortunately, was below par; actual cash in hand was the slogan of the 
vendors. The bonds were sacrificed at the rate of forty cents on the dollar, and the 
amount received thereby used in partial liquidation of the debt, the liability remain- 
ing being subsequently the cause of vexatious and protracted litigation. 

On Saturday, December 15, 1849, the first State Legislature of California met 
at San Jos(^, E. Kirby Chamberlin being elected President pro tern, of the Senate, 
and Thomas J. White Speaker of the Assembly. On the opening day there were 
only six Senators present; the following day Governor Riley and his Secretary, H. 
W. Halleck, arrived, and on Monday nearly all members were in their places. 



Political History of the County. 185 

Members of First California Legislature. — We will now introduce to 
our readers a number of those of California's first Legislators — an interesting record 
of by-gone times: — 


David F. Douglass.— Born in Sumner County, Tennessee, the 8th of January, 
1 82 1. Went to Arkansas with Fulton in 1836. On the 17th of March, 1839, had a 
fight- with Doctor William Howell, in which Howell was killed; imprisoned fourteen 
months; returned home in 1842; emigrated to Mississippi; engaged in the Choctaw 
speculation; moved with the Chdctaws west as a clerk; left there for Texas in the 
winter of 1845-46. War broke out; joined Hays' regiment; from Mexico emigrated 
to California, and arrived here as a wagoner in December, 1848. 

M. G. Vallejo. — Born in Monterey, Upper California, July 7, 1807. On the 
1st of January, 1825, he commenced his military career in the capacity of a cadet. 
He served successively in the capacity of Lieutenant, Captain of Cavalry, Lieutenant- 
Colonel, and General Commandant of Upper California. In 1835, he went to Sonoma 
County and founded the town of Sonoma, giving' land for the same. He was a mem- 
ber of the Convention in 1849 and Senator in 1850. 

Elcan .Haydenfeldt. — Born in Charleston, South Carolina, September 15, 
1821. Emigrated to Alabama in i84i;from thence to Louisiana in 1844; to California 
in 1849. Lawyer by profession. 

Pablo DE la Guerra. — Born in Santa Barbara, Upper California, November 
19, 1819. At the age of nineteen he entered the public service. He was appointed 
Admistrator-General ^'^ de la rentas," which position he held when California was taken 
by the American forces. From that time he lived a private life until he was named a 
member of the Convention which framed the Constitution of the State. Represents 
the districts of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo in the Senate. 

S. E. WoODVirORTH. — Born in the city of New York, November 15, 1815. Com- 
menced career as a sailor, A. D. 1832. Sailed from New York March 9, 1834. Entered 
the navy of the United States June 14, 1838. Emigrated to California, via Rocky 
Mountains and Oregon, April i, 1846. Resignation accepted by Navy Department 
October 29, 1 849. Elected to represent the district of Monterey in the Senate of 
the first Legislature of California, for the term of two years. 

Thomas L. Vermeule. — Born in New Jersey on the nth of June, 18 14. Immi- 
grated to California November 12, 1846. Did represent San Joaquin District in the 
Senate. Resigned. 

W. D. Fair. — Senator from San Joaquin District, California. Native of Virginia. 
Emigrated to California from Mississippi in February, 1849, as President of the 
"Mississippi Rangers." Settled in Stockton, San Joaquin District, as an Attorney- 

Elisha O. Crosby. — Senator from Sacramento District. Native of New York 
State. Emigrated from New York December 25, 1848. Aged thirty-four years. 

D. C. Broderick. — Senator from San Francisco. Born in Washington City, D. 
C, February 4, 1818. Emigrated from Washington to New York City March, 1824. 
Left New York for California April 17, 1849. 

E. Kirby Chamberlin, M. D. — President pro tern, of the Senate, from the dis- 


186 History of Alameda County, California. 

trict of San Diego. Born in Litchfield County, Connecticut, April 24, 1805. Emi- 
grated from Connecticut to Onondaga County, New York, in 1 8 1 5 ; thence to Beaver, 
Pennsylvania, in 1829; thence to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1842; served as surgeon in the 
United States Army during the war with Mexico; appointed surgeon to the Bound- 
ary Line Commission, February 10, 1846; embarked from Cincinnati, Ohio, February 
15th; arrived in San Diego June i, 1849, and in San Jos^ December 12, 1849. 

J. BiDWELL. — Born in Chautauqua County, New York, 5th of August, 1819- 
Emigrated to Pennsylvania; thence to Ohio; thence to Missouri; thence, in 1841, to 
California. Term in Senate, one year. 

H. C. Robinson. — Senator from Sacramento; elected November 15, 1849. Bom 
in the State of Connecticut. Emigrated at an early age to Louisiana. Educated as a 
lawyer, but engaged in commercial pursuits. Arrived at San Francisco, February, 
1849, per steamer California, the first that ever entered said port. 

Benjamin S. Lippencott. — Senator from San Joaquin. Born in New York. 
Emigrated February, 1846, from New Jersey. By pursuit a merchant. Elected for 

two years. 


Elam Brown. — Born in the State of New York in 1797. Emigrated from 
Massachusetts in 1805; to Illinois in 18 18; to Missouri, 1837, and Platte County, in 
Missouri, 1846, to California. 

J. S. K. Ogier. — Born in Charleston, South Carolina. Emigrated to New Orleans. 

1845, and from there to California, December 18, 1848. 

E. B. Bateman, M. D. — Emigrated from Missouri, April, 1847. Residence, 
Stockton, Alta California. 

Edmund Randolph. — Born in Richmond, Virginia. Emigrated to New 
Orleans, 1843; thence to California, 1849. Residence, San Francisco. 

E. P. Baldwin.- -Born in Alabama. Emigrated from thence in January, 1849. 
Arrived in California, May i, 1850. Represents San Joaquin District. Resides in 
Sonora, Tuolumne County. 

A. P. Crittenden. — Born in Lexington, Kentucky. Educated in Ohio, Ala- 
bama, New York, and Pennsylvania. Settled in Texas in 1839. Came to California 
in 1 849. Represents the county of Los Angeles. 

Alfred Wheeler. — Born in the city of New York, the 30th day of April, 1820. 
Resided in New York City until the ist of May, 1849, when he left for California. 
Citizen and resident of San Francisco, which district he represents. 

James A. Gray. — Philadelphia, Monterey, California. Emigrated in 1846 in the 
first New York Regiment of Volunteers. 

Joseph Aram. — Native of the State of New York. Emigrated to California, 

1846. Present residence, San Jose, Santa Clara County. 

Joseph C. Morehead. — Born in Kentucky. Emigrated to California in 1846. 
Resides at present in the county of Calaveras, San Joaquin District. 

Benjamin Cory, M. D. — Born November 12, 1822. Emigrated to the Golden 
State in 1847. Residence in the valley of San Josd. 

Thomas J. Henley. — Bom in Indiana. Family now resides in Charlestown in 
that State. Emigrated to California in 1849, through the South Pass. Residence at 

Political History of the County. 187 

Josifi N. COVARRUBIAS. — Native of France. Came to California in 1834. Resi- 
dence in Santa Barbara, and representative for that district. 

Elisha W. McKinstry. — Born in Detroit, Michigan. Emigrated to Cahfornia 
in March, 1849. Residence in Sacramento District, city of Sutter. 

George B. Tingley. — Bom August 15, 181 5, Claremont County, Ohio. Emi- 
grated to Rushville, Indiana, November 4, 1834. Started for California April 4, 1849. 
Reached there October i6th; was elected to the Assembly November 13th, from Sac- 
ramento District, and is now in Pueblo de San Jos^. 

John S. Bradford. — Represented the district of Sonoma. 

At the start considerable dissatisfaction was felt in respect to the accommodation 
offered by the State House, and only four days after its first occupation, George B. 
Tingley, a member from Sacramento, introduced a bill to remove the Legislature to 
Monterey. It only passed its first reading and was then consigned to the purgatory 
of further action. 

Governor Burnett Assumes Office. — Governor Riley resigned his Guberna- 
torial functions to Governor Peter H. Burnett on the 20th of December, 1849; o" the 
same date Secretary of State Halleck was relieved of his duties, and at noon of the 
day following the new Governor delivered his first message. On this day also Colonel 
J. C. Fremont received a majority of six votes, and Dr. William M. Gwin a majority 
of two, for the United States Senate. 

State Capital Removed. — And now a monster enemy to the interests of San 
Josd appeared in the field. 

In the year 1850 General-Senator Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo became convinced 
that the capital of California should be established at a place which he designed to 
name Eureka, but which his colleagues in the Legislature, out of compliment to him- 
self, suggested should be named Vallejo. To this end the General addressed a memo- 
rial to the Senate, dated April 3, 1850, wherein he graphically pointed out the advan- 
tages possessed by the proposed site over other places which claimed the honor. In 
this remarkable document, remarkable alike for its generosity of purpose as for its 
marvelous foresight; he proposed to grant twenty acres to the State, free of cost, for 
a State Capitol and grounds, and one hundred and thirty-six acres more for other State 
buildings, to be apportioned in the following manner: Ten acres for the Governor's 
house and grounds; five acres for the offices of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of 
State, Surveyor-General, and Attorney-General, should the Commissioners determine 
that their offices should not be in the capitol building; one acre to State Library and 
Translator's office, should it be determined to separate them from the State House 
building; twenty acres for an Orphan Asylum; ten acres for a Male Charity Hospital; 
ten acres for a Female Charity Hospital; four acres for an Asylum for the Blind; four 
acres for Deaf and Dumb Asylum; eight acres for four Common Schools; twenty acres 
for a State University; four acres for a State Botanical Garden; and twenty acres for 
a State Penitentiary. 

But with a munificence casting this already long list of grants into the shade, 
he further proposed to donate and pay over to the State, within two years after the 

188 History of Alameda County, California. 

acceptance of these propositions, the gigantic sum of three hundred and seventy- 
thousand dollars, to be apportioned in the following manner: For the building of a 
State Capitol, one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars; for furnishing the same, 
ten thousand dollars; for building of the Governor's house, ten thousand dollars; for 
furnishing the same, five thousand dollars; for the building of State Library and 
Translator's office, five thousand dollars; for a State Library, five thousand dollars; 
for the building of the offices of the Secretary of State, Comptroller, Attorney- 
General, Surveyor-General, arid Treasurer, should the Commissioners deem it proper 
to separate them from the State House, twenty thousand dollars; for the building of 
an Orphan Asylum, twenty thousand dollars; for the building of a Female Charity 
Hospital, twenty thousand dollars; for the building of an Asylum for the Blind, 
twenty thousand dollars; for the building of a Deaf and Dumb Asylum, twenty 
thousand dollars; for the building of a State University, twenty thousand dollars; 
for University Library, five thousand dollars; for scientific apparatus therefor, five 
thousand dollars; for chemical laboratory therefor, three thousand dollars; for a 
mineral cabinet therefor, three thousand dollars; for the building of four common 
schools, ten thousand dollars; for purchasing books therefor, one thousand dollars; for 
the building of a Lunatic Asylum, twenty thousand dollars; for a State Penitentiary, 
twenty thousand dollars; for a State Botanical Collection, three thousand dollars. 

In his memorial the General states, with much perspicacity, his reasons for claim- 
ing the proud position for the place suggested as the State Capital. Mark the single- 
ness of purpose with which he bases these claims: — 

" Your memorialist, with this simple proposition (namely, that in the event of the 
Government declining to accept his terms, it should be put to the popular vote at the 
general election held in November of that year^ — 1850,) might stop here, did he not 
believe that his duty as a citizen of California required hirn to say thus much in addi- 
tion — that he believes the location indicated is the most suitable for a permanent seat 
of government for the great State of California, for the following reasons: That it is the 
true center of the State, the true center of commerce, the true center of population, and 
the true center of travel; that while the Bay of San Francisco is acknowledged to be the 
first on the earth, in point of extent and' navigable capacities, already, throughout the 
length and breadth of the wide world, it is acknowledged to be the very center between 
Asiatic and European commerce. The largest ship that sails upon the broad sea can, 
within three hours, anchor at the wharves of the place which your memorialist pro- 
poses as your permanent seat of government. From this point, by steam navigation, 
there is a greater aggregate of mineral wealth within eight hours' steaming, than 
exists in the Union; besides, from this point the great north and south rivers — San 
Joaquin and Sacramento — cut the State longitudinally through the center, bringing 
the immense gold deposits on the one hand, and untold mercury and other mineral 
resources on the other; from this point steam navigation extends along the Pacific 
Coast south to San Diego, and north to the Oregon line, affording the quickest possible 
facilities for our sea-coast population to reach the State Capital in the fewest number 
of hours. This age, as it has been truly remarked, has merged distance into time. 
In the operations of commerce and the intercourse of mankind, to measure miles by 
the rod is a piece of vandalism of a by-gone age; and that point which can be 

Political History of the County. 189 

approached from all parts of the State in the fewest number of hours, and at the 
cheapest cost, is the truest center. 

" The location which your memorialist proposes as the permanent seat of govern- 
ment is certainly that point. 

"Your memorialist most respectfully submits to your honorable body whether 
there is not a ground of even still higher nationality? It is this: that at present, 
throughout the wide extent of our sister Atlantic States, but one sentiment seems to 
possess the entire people, and that is, to build, in the shortest possible time, a rail- 
road from the Mississippi to the Bay of San Francisco, where its western terminus 
may meet a three weeks' steamer from China. Indeed, such is the overwhelming 
sentiment of the American people upon this subject, that there is but little doiibt 
to apprehend its early completion. Shall it be said, then, while the world is covet- 
ing our possession of what all acknowledge to be the half-way house of the earth's 
commerce — the great Bay of San Francisco — that the people of the rich possessions 
are so unmindful of its value as not to ornament her magnificent shores with a 
Capital worth)'-' of a great State ?" 

Upon receipt of General Vallejo's memorial by the Senate, a committee, com- 
posed of members who possessed a local knowledge of the country, Comprised in 
the above-quoted document, both geographical and topographical, were directed to 
report, for the information of the President, upon the advantages claimed for the 
location of the capital at the spot suggested, in preference to others. The report, 
in which the following words occur, was presented to the Senate on April 2, 1850: 
" Your committee cannot dwell with too much warmth upon the magnificent propo- 
sitions contained in the memorial of General Vallejo. They breathe throughout the 
spirit of an enlarged mind, and a sincere public benefactor, for which he deserves the 
thanks of his countrymen and the admiration of the world. Such a proposition 
looks more like the legacy of a mighty Emperor to his people than the free dona- 
tion of a private planter to a great State, yet poor in public finance, but soon to be 
iimong the first of the earth." 

The report, which was presented by Senator D. C. Broderick, of San Francisco, 
goes on to point out the necessities which should govern the choice of a site for 
California's capital; recapitulates the advantages pointed out in the memorial; and, 
finally, recommends the acceptance of General Vallejo's offer. This acceptance did 
not pass the Senate without some opposition and considerable delay; however, on 
Tuesday, February 4, 1851, a message was received from Governor Burnett, by his 
private secretary, Mr. Ohr, informing the Senate that he did this day sign an Act 
originating in the Senate, entitled " An Act to provide for the permanent location 
of the Seat of Government." In the meantime General Vallejo's bond had been 
accepted; his solvency was approved by a committeee appointed by the Senate to 
inquire into that circumstance; the report of the Commissioners sent to mark and 
lay out the tracts of land proposed to be donated was adopted, and, on May i, 1851, 
the last session of the Legislature in San Jos^ was completed; but the archives were 
not moved to the new seat of government at Vallejo at that time, the want of which 
was the cause of much dissatisfaction among the members. 

The Legislature first met at Vallejo on January 5, 1852, but there was wanting 

190 History of Alameda County, California. 

that attraction of society which would appear to be necessary to the seat of every 
central government. With these Sacramento abounded, from her proximity to the 
mines. The Assembly, therefore, with a unanimity bordering on the marvelous, 
passed a bill to remove the session to that city, ball tickets and theater tickets being 
tendered to the members in reckless profusion. The bill was transferred to the Sen- 
ate, and bitterly fought by the Hons. Paul K. Hubbs and Phil. A. Roach. The 
removal was rejected by one vote. This was on a Saturday, but never was the proverb 
of '• we know not what the morn may bring forth," more fully brought to bear on any 
consideration. Senator Anderson, it is said, passed a sleepless night through the 
presence of unpleasant insects in his couch; on the Monday morning he moved a 
reconsideration of the bill. The alarm was sounded on every hand, and at two P. M.. 
on January 12, 1852, the Government and Legislature were finding their way to 
Sacramento by way of the Carquinez Straits. On March 7, 1852, a devastating 
flood overwhelmed Sacramento, and where they had before feared contamination, 
they now feared drowning. The Legislature adjourned at Sacramento May 4, 1852, 
the next session to be held at Vallejo. On January 3, 1853, the peripatetic Govern- 
ment met again at Vallejo, whither had been moved in the previous May the State 
offices. Once more the spirit of jealousy was rampant. Sacramento could not with 
any grace ask for its removal thither again, but she, working with Benicia, the' Capi- 
tal was once more on wheels, and literally carted off to the latter town for the 
remaining portion of the session, where it remained until a bill was passed to fix the 
Capital of the State at Sacramento, and thereafter clinched by large appropriations 
for building the present magnificent capitol there. 

The Capital being removed from San Jos^ the Town Council sold the State 
House for thirty-eight thousand dollars, which sum it was intended should be applied 
to the liquidation of the note mentioned above. The money, it would appear, was 
not so applied, therefore legal proceedings were instituted by the gentlemen holding 
the premises in trust for the purchasers, or their representatives, against the city, to 
obtain the foreclosure of a mortgage executed to them by the civic authorities in 
1850, to secure the purchase of the property. A decree of foreclosure was obtained, the 
public lands brought to the hammer, and bought in by the trustees of the plaintiffs 
who had organized themselves into a land company, and claimed title to all the 
pueblo lands, a claim which was resisted to the bitter end by the pueblo authorities. 
The question of the legality of the removal was brought up in 1854, before the 
Supreme Court, when a majority of the Justices, Heydenfeldt and Wells, held that, 
according to law, San Josd was the Capital of the State, who thereupon made the fol- 
lowing order, March 27th: — 

" It is ordered that the Sheriff of Santa Clara County procure in the town of San 
Jos^ and properly arrange and furnish, a Court-room, Clerk's office, and consultation 
room for the use of the Court. It is further ordered that the Clerk of this Court forth- 
with remove the records of the Court to the town of San Josd It is further ordered 
that the Court will meet to deliver opinions at San Josd, on the first Monday in April, 
and on that day will appoint some future day of the term for the argument of cases. 

" Heydenfeldt, J. 

"Attest: D. K. WOODSIDE, Clerk." "Wells, J. 

Political. History of the County. 191 

A writ of mandamus, on the strength of the above, was issued from the Third 
District Court against all the State officers, commanding that they should remove 
their offices to San ]os6, or show cause why they should not do so. The argument 
was heard and the theory maintained that San Jose was the proper capital of the 
State, whereupon an appeal was carried to the Supreme Court. In the interim Justice 
Wells had died, his place being filled by Justice Bryant. On the appeal, the Supreme 
Court decided that San Jos^ was not the State Capital, from which decision Justice 
Heydenfeldt dissented. 

Hitherto we have dwelt principally upon the establishment of the State Capital, 
a matter but little known to the general public ; we will now turn to the particular 
records of Alameda County, before touching upon which, however, we will briefly 
allude to the position of Contra Costa County before the year 1853. 

Political History Prior to 1853. — In the year 1852, and while Alameda 
was still a portion of Contra Costa County, an Act providing that " the stream called 
San Antonio Creek, in the county of Contra Costa, is declared navigable from its 
mouth to the old Embarcadero of San Antonio,' and no obstruction to the navigation 
thereof shall be permitted," was passed ; yet notwithstanding, the question has fre- 
quently "cropped up" since then, and indeed has been the subject of much legislation 
not only in our own State Capital, but in Washington also. In this year, too, the town 
of Oakland was incorporated, the chief promoter of the scheme being Horace W. 
Carpentier, while early in the following year the towns of Clinton and Oakland were 
commenced to be connected by a bridge across the slough of San Antonio, an affair 
whose history we now place before the reader, as given in a " Statement of Facts," 
drawn up for the State Legislature by Judge Thomas A. Brown of Contra Costa: — 

On October 28, 1852, the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County made a 
contract with T. C. Oilman to build a bridge across the San Antonio Creek, in Oak- 
land, the contract price being seven thousand four hundred dollars. It was stipulated 
in the contract that should the Treasurer refuse to pay any warrant or order drawn in 
favor of Oilman, the Treasurer having in his hands any money belonging to said 
county, they agreed to pay Oilman a penalty of five per cent, per month, to be deemed 
an interest. On March 8, 1853, the Board of Supervisors met and accepted the bridge, 
and made an order directing the County Auditor to draw a warrant upon the County 
Treasurer, in favor of Oilman, for seven thousand six hundred and sixty-two dollars 
and fifty cents, being the contract price of the bridge, together with interest thereon 
at five per cent, per month from the time the bridge had been completed up to the 
period the order was made. A warrant was drawn (number two hundred and sixteen) 
by the Auditor, in favor of Oilman, and delivered to him, March 8, 1853, for seven 
thousand six hundred and sixty-two dollars and fifty cents. The warrant was accepted 
by Oilman, and on the same day was presented by him to the County Treasurer, and 
the Treasurer made the following indorsement on the warrant: "Not paid for want of 
funds; March eighth, eighteen hundred and fifty-three; D. Hunsaker, Treasurer, by A. 
M. Holliday, Deputy." Oilman retained the warrant. It does not appear that Gil- 
man presented his warrant to the Treasurer for payment again. On November 15, 
1854, Oilman commenced an action against the county of Contra Costa to recover 

192 History of Alameda County, California. 

contract price of the bridge, together with five per cent, per month interest from and 
after March 8, 1853. The cause was tried in Solano County, and judgment was ren- 
dered in favor of the county. An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court, the judg- 
ment of the District Court was reversed and a new trial ordered. The cause was again 
tried in the District Court on January 30, 1856, and judgment was rendered agamst 
the county for twenty thousand four hundred and twenty-seven dollars, being the 
amount of the original contract price of the bridge, with five per cent, interest thereon 
from March 8, 1853, to the date of the judgment, and the said judgment to bear inter- 
est at five per cent, per month. On February 14, 1855, an Act was passed funding all 
the indebtedness of Contra Costa County which accrued prior to April i, 1855, and 
the thirteenth section of the act provided that it should not be lawful for the County 
Treasurer to pay or liquidate any of the indebtedness of said county of Contra Costa, 
which accrued prior to February i, 1855, in any other manner than in such Funding 
Act provided (Statutes 1855, page 12). Gilman did not present his claim to be funded. 
That on January 10, 1857, Gilman caused execution to be issued on the judgment in his 
favor, recovered on January 30, 1856, for twenty thousand four hundred and twenty- 
seven dollars. The execution was levied on all the monies in the county treasury 
belonging to all Funds. This levy was made January, 19, 1857. On February 25, 
1857, the Sheriff, under the direction of Gilman, levied on the Court House, and on 
March 5, 1857, again levied on the funds in the county treasury. In March, 1857, 
the county moved the District Court to quash the execution and the several levies. 
The District Court denied the motion. The cause was appealed to the Supreme Court, 
and the Supreme Court reversed the order of the District Court, and ordered the exe- 
cutions should be quashed and the levy vacated, the Court holding that the county 
buildings were exempt from seizure and forced sale on execution; and also held that 
the levies upon the revenues in the hands of the Treasurer were illegal and void; that 
the revenues were authorized by law, and appropriated to distinct purposes, and were 
not the object of seizure upon execution (8 Cal. Rep* page 58). 

On July 9, 1857, Gilman caused another execution to be issued on said judgment, 
and levied on private property, being an undivided eighth of the San Pablo Rancho. 
The property was advertised for sale, and the owner, Joseph Emeric, obtained an 
injunction from the District Court of the Seventh District, enjoining the sale. The 
case was appealed to the Supreme Court; that Court decided (10 Cal., p. 404) that 
the private property of an inhabitant of a county is not liable to seizure and sale on 
execution for the satisfaction of a judgment recovered against the county, and that 
no execution can issue upon a judgment rendered against the county. Gilman again 
caused an execution to be issued on his judgment against the county, on April i, 1858, 
and levied the same on the funds in the county treasury. A motion was made to 
set aside the execution and quash the levy; the District Court granted the motion 
and Gilman appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court affirmed the order 
of the District Court (10 Cal. Rep., p. 508). This left Gilman without any remedy 
whatever to collect his debt, and the county without any power or authority whatever 
to pay. The Supreme Court having decided,- in the case of Hunsaker vs. Borden 
(5 Cal. Rep., p. 288), that the county of Contra Costa had no power to pay any of 
the indebtedness which existed against that county prior to February i, 1855, in any 

m^ fhM<^^^^ 

Political History of the County. 193 

other manner than as prescribed in the Act to fund the indebtedness of said county, 
passed February 14, 1855, and that the payment in any other, manner. was unlawful. 
Oilman's debt having been contracted prior to February i, 1855, and he having failed 
and neglected to fund his debt, he was without remedy. The rights of the parties 
continued thus until March 14, i860, when an Act was passed entitled "An Act 
providing for the payment of a judgment in favor of Trusten C. Oilman, against the 
County of Contra Costa." (Stat, i860, p. 94.) In the preamble of the Act it is 
recited: — 

"Whereas, The Supreme Court has affirmed a judgment entered in the Seventh 
Judicial District Court, in favor of Trusten C. Oilman against the county of Contra 
Costa, which judgment was entered in said District Court on the twenty-second of 
March, eighteen hundred and fifty-six, for the sum of twenty thousand, four hundred 
and twenty-seven dollars, and interest and costs." 

The Act provides for levying and' collecting a special tax of one per cent, on the 
taxable property in the county to pay said judgment, together with interest thereon 
at ten per cent, per annum from its date. The fifth section of the Act provides that 
the Treasurer of the county of Contra Costa should pay the money collected by virtue 
of the Act from time to time, upon demand, to said Trusten C. Oilman, his executors, 
administrators, or assignees, and at the same time take a receipt therefor from his 
assigns; and have said judgment credited with said payment or payments by the 
proper party or parties entitled" to receive the same; and the said party or parties 
entitled to receive from the Treasurer the payment of said judgment, shall, before any 
payments are made by the Treasurer on account of the -same, deliver to the Treasurer 
the warrant heretofore issued in favor of said Oilman, and known as Warrant Number 
Two Hundred and Sixteen, and the Treasurer shall cancel the same. Section eight 
of said Act provides that said T. C. Oilman, or his assigns, should be allowed until 
the first Monday in August next hereafter to make known to the Board of Super- 
visors of said county his or their acceptance of said amount in full satisfaction and 
payment of all demands accruing at any time in his favor against the county of Con- 
tra Costa for building a bridge across the San Antonio Creek; provided, that if he 
fail to declare said acceptance to the Board of Supervisors on or before the first Mon- 
day in August next, then said special tax shall not be collected. 

That on August 6, i860, Oeorge F. Sharp, to whom Oilman had assigned said 
judgment, and who was the legal assignee of the judgment, rendered in favor of Oil- 
man against the county of Contra Costa on March 22, 1856, for twenty thousand four 
hundred and twenty-seven dollars, with interest and costs, came before the Board of 
Supervisors of Contra Costa County, and in writing accepted the provisions of the 
Act of March 14, i860, in full satisfaction and payment of all demands accruing at 
any time in favor of said Oilman against the county of Contra Costa for building a 
bridge across the San Antonio Creek, and he also surrendered to the Treasurer of 
said county, as provided in said Act, the county warrant, number two hundred 
and sixteen, for seven thousand six hundred and sixty-two dollars and fifty cents, 
which was canceled, as provided in the fifth section of the Act. On the same day, 
August 6, i860, the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County levied a tax of 
one per cent, on the taxable property of the county, as provided in said Act, for the 

104 History of Alameda County, California. 

payment of said claim. The payments made by the Treasurer to Sharp, as the 
assignee of said judgment and in satisfaction of said claim, amounted in the aggre- 
gate, on June 19, 1862, the time of the last payment, to thirty-one thousand, six hun- 
dreti and eleven- dollars and twenty-ohfe centsj that being the full sum due for prin- 
cipal and interest, as in said Act provided. And upon making the several payments 
the Treasurer took from said Sharp receipts as follows: "Office of the County Treas- 
urer of Contra Costa County. — Received from Hiram Fogg, County Treasurer of 
Contra Costa County, the sum of ten thousand dollars, lawful currency of the United 
States of America, in part payment and satisfaction of the judgment recovered by 
Trusten C. Oilman against the county of Contra Costa. Tiie said sum is paid out 
of the Oilman Judgment Fund, which was levied and collected in pursuance of an Act 
of the Legislature of the State of California, entitled an 'Act providing for the payment 
of a judgment in favor of Trusten C. Oilman against the county of Contra Costa, 
approved March 14, i860, and by order of the Board of Supervisors of Contra 
Costa County, made on the sixth of August, eighteen hundred and sixty, a copy being 
annexed to this receipt; the said sum is received in part satisfaction of said judgment, 
in accordance with the provisions of the said Act of the Legislature, and I hereby 
authorize satisfaction of the amount receipted for to be entered." There were thir- 
teen different payments made, and thirteen receipts given by Sharp, as assignee of 
Oilman, to the Treasurer, of like tenor to the above. The debt was fully paid, as 
provided in said Act, on June 19, 1862. 

That on March 15, i860, prior to the passage of the Act of March 14th men- 
tioned, Oeorge F. Sharp, as the assignee of Oilman, commenced an action in the 
District Court of Solano County to revive the judgment of March 22, 1856, in favor 
of Oilman and against the county, for twenty thousand four hundred and twenty-seven 
dollars, with five per cent, per month interest. Judgment was entered in said action 
in favor of Sharp, assignee of Oilman, by default, in the Clerk's office, on July 18, 
1 860, for eighty-five thousand and forty-two dollars and eighty cents. No action was 
taken by Sharp on this last judgment until long after he had been fully paid, as 
stated, on and prior to June 19, 1862. 

That on July 16, 1865, Sharp commenced another action to revive the last judg- 
ment of eighty-five thousand and forty-two dollars and eighty cents, against the 
county. The action was commenced in the Fifteenth District Court in San Fran- 
cisco City and County. The county defended the action on the ground that the 
debt had been fully paid, satisfied and discharged. The cause was tried; judgment 
was rendered in the District Court in favor of the county. The Court decided that 
the county had fully paid and satisfied the said debt and the said judgment, and 
ordered and directed that Sharp should cancel and satisfy said judgment of record. 
Sharp appealed from said judgment to the Supreme Court. The judgment of the 
District Court was affirmed. The Supreme Court held that the county was not 
either legally or equitably indebted upon the demand in any sum whatever, but on 
the contrary, that the county had, under the Act of March 14, i860, fully paid and 
discharged the said claim. The case is entitled "Sharp vs. Contra Costa County," 
and is reported in 34 Cal. Rep., p. 284. 

Oilman's claim is now (1872) made to the Legislature for the same identical 

Political History of the County. 195 

claim for building the bridge across the San Antonio Creek, and in relation to which 
the litigation named was had, and the same for which payment was provided in the 
Act of March 14, i860, and is the same which was fully paid and satisfied under said 
Act. His county warrant has been surrendered and canceled; his judgment has 
been paid, satisfied, and discharged, and satisfaction entered of record ; he now makes 
a claim against the county of over six hundred and seventy-six thousand and ninety 
dollars upon this claim. It is submitted that the county has not only paid the claim, 
but has actually paid more than double what was due him according to law. When 
Oilman received his warrant for seven thousand four hundred dollars, on March 8, 
1853, and presented the same to the Treasurer, the Treasurer made the indorsement 
thereon required by law. From that time the debt drew ten per cent, per annum, 
interest, and no more. Section ten of the Act concerning County Treasurers, passed 
March 27, 1850, (Statutes, 1850, p. 115) provides when any warrants shall be pre- 
sented to the County Treasurer for payment, and the same is not paid for the want 
of funds, the Treasurer shall indorse thereon "nof paid for want of funds," annexing 
the date of presentation, and sign his name thereto; and from that time till redeemed, 
said order or warrant shall bear ten per cent, per annum. That section of the Statute 
has been in force ever since it was passed in 1850. When Oilman accepted his war- 
rant, and presented it to the Treasurer and procured it to be indorsed by him, and 
had received it back, into his possession, he knew, or was bound to know what the law 
was; and from that time no ofificer was authorized by law to pay any greater rate of 
interest on that debt tttan ten per cent, per annum. The interest on the debt up to 
June 19, 1862, the time when the full amount was paid under the Act of i860 — being 
nine years and three and one-third months, would have been six thousand eight hun- 
dred and sixty-five dollars, which, added to the principal, seven thousand four hundred 
dollars, amounted to fourteen thousand two hundred and sixty-five dollars. The 
county actually paid thirty-one thousand six hundred and eleven dollars and twenty- 
one cents, being seventeen thousand three hundred and forty-six dollars and twenty- 
one cents more than was due on the warrant, according to the law concerning indebt- 
edness of counties. 

The facts in this case are fully set out and authenticated in the record on the 
appeal of the action of Sharp vs. The County of Contra Costa, in the Supreme Court, 
in the case reported in 34 Cal. p. 284. The transcript, briefs, and decisions of^ the 
District Court, with its findings, and the testimony in the case, will be found bound 
in Volume LXX of California Supreme Court Records, pp. 50 to 102. 

The petitioner has no claims whatever upon the county, either legal or equitable; 
but he has been paid by the county actually more than twice as much as was justly 
due him, and his present claim is a sham without foundation, and is neither supported 
by equity nor good conscience, and should be postponed indefinitely. 

Ere the segregation of Alameda County, an election for the position of Member 
of the Assembly was held on March 26, 1853, when three candidates, viz., Horace W. 
Carpentier of Oakland, Robert S. Farrelly of " Squatterville " or San Lorenzo, and B. 
R. Holliday of Martinez, entered the field. The election was subsequently contested 
in the House, and is here mentioned to give to the reader, not only an idea of what 
the voting strength of the district was then, but also to throw light upon the manner 

196 History of Alameda County, California. ■ 

in which elections were carried on. The highest number of votes were polled by 
Mr. Carpentier, against which Mr. Farrelly protested on the ground of fraud, upon 
which plaint a certificate of election was refused to Mr. Carpentier by the County 
Clerk, and the matter handed over to be unraveled by the Committee on Elections 
of the Legislature. Mr. Carpentier claimed five hundred and nineteen votes; Mr. 
Farrelly, two hundred and fifty-four, and Mr. Holliday one hundred and ninety-two, 
thus showing a majority of seventy-three votes in favor of the first named. S. J. 
Clark, attorney for Mr. Farrelly, presented various grounds of objection, and forcibly 
signified fraud on the part of Mr. Carpentier, as well as collusion on the part of the 
Board of Judges, Inspectors and Clerks of Contra Costa or Oakland Township. In 
the examination it was ascertained that the whole number of votes cast in the town- 
ship was three hundred and seventy-seven, while, according to the testimony of the 
agent who took the census of the township, but ten short weeks before, there were 
only one hundred and thirty votes within its limits — a rather unprecedented influx of 
people in so limited a space of time. It was also declared that it took almost two 
hours to count the Carpentier tickets which lay in a compact yellow mass at the top 
of the box, ere any white ones, representing Farrelly, were reached, and yet three of 
the last voters who cast their ballots at sundown swore positively that they had voted 
white tickets for Farrelly. An affidavit was made by a man named Ford, that 'he 
crossed on the ferry-boat to San Francisco on the day of the election and there found 
a man called Gilman who said ,he had thirty-seven workmen for his bridge on board 
and was arranging for their fare. These men, or some of them. Ford afterwards 
recognized voting at the polls, while he heard one of them say that he had voted 
seven times. The Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County, however, took the 
view that Mr. Carpentier was duly elected, and made affidavits to that end, and a 
majority of four to six of the Committee on Elections were of the like opinion, and 
reported in favor of his taking his seat, in which he was duly confirmed, and sworn in 
April II, 1853. 

We will now proceed with the recorded events as found in the minutes of meet- 
ings and proceedings of the Courts of Sessions and Boards of Supervisors. 

The RECORD.S. — In the month of May, 1853, the first election of officers took 
place, when any man who sought official distinction was at full liberty to seek the 
suffrages of his fellow-citizens. This election was long known as the " steeple chase " 
for there were from five to six candidates for each office, while many of the would-be 
county officers appeared in the poll-lists under nick-names. The following gentlemen 
were eventually elected in accordance with the provisions of the Organic Act: Addison 
M. Crane, County Judge; A. N. Broder, Sheriff; William H. Coombs, District 
Attorney; A. M. Church, County Clerk; J. S. Marston, Treasurer; Joseph S. Watkins, 
Public Administrator; William H. Chamberlain, Coroner; H. A. Higley, Surveyor; 
George W. Goucher, Assessor; W. W. Brier, Superintendent of Schools. The 
Senator was Jacob Grewell, who continued to act as Joint Senator for the three 
counties of Santa Clara, Alameida, and Contra Costa, while the first chosen Member 
of Assembly was Joseph S. Watkins. The Third Judicial District held sway over 
this portion of the State, the Judge being Craven P. Hester. 

Political History of the County. 197 

1853. — The first meeting of the Court of Sessions was held in the town of 
Alvarado on Monday, June 6, 1853, when there were present Hon. A. M. Crane, 
County Judge; A. M. Church, County Clerk; Andrew H. Broder, Sheriff; William 
H. Coombs, District Attorney; together with the five Justices of the Peace elect, viz., 
A. W. Harris, I. S. Long, David S. Lacey, A. Marier and John McMurtry. The first 
duty undertaken was the selection from among these last-named gentlemen of two to 
serve as Associate Justices, the choice falling upon Messrs. Lacey and Long, who, 
after producing their certificates of election, were duly installed, and with the County 
Judge constituted the first Court- of Sessions of Alameda County. Mr. Coombs, the 
District Attorney elect, then produced his ■ license as attorney and counselor at law,. 
and was duly admitted to practice in open court. The county was next divided into 
the six townships of Oakland, Contra Costa, Clinton, Eden, Washington, and Murray, 
as mentioned elsewhere, and thus was the machinery of Alameda, put in motion. 

On August 4, 185 1, the Court of Sessions of Contra Costa County granted a 
license to H. W. Carpentier and A. Moon to run a ferry " from Contra Costa, in the 
township of San Antonio, to the city of San Francisco," the tariff , being then fixed as 
follows : — 

For one person $i.oo 

" one horse 3.00 

" one wagon ; 3.00 

" one two-horse wagon 5-00 

" neat cattle, per head 3-0° 

" each hundred-weight 5° 

" each sheep. i.oo 

" each hog i.oo 

This enterprise had blossomed into a joint stock company during the two years 
of its existence, for we find, at the first meeting of the Court of Sessions of Alameda 
County, that H. W. Carpentier as attorney for the Contra Costa Steam Navigation 
Company, made application for a renewal of the license for one year, which was 
granted and the following rates declared leviable: — 

For one foot passenger $ .50 

" horses, mules and cattle, per head 2.00 

" empty wagons, each ;...., i.SO 

' ' hogs and sheep, per head 5° 

" freight, her hundred-weight 25 

Then came petitions for public roads and the designation of road districts, and, again, 

Mr. Carpentier, with a proposition in writing, concerning a matter which continued 

for several years thereafter to furnish an apparently exhaustless supply of material for 

county legislation, and which, like Banquo's ghost, would not down at any mortal's 

bidding. This morsel of ancient history we here reproduce in its entirety: — 

, , County of Alameda, June 6, 1853. 

I hereby propose to complete the bridge across the creek known as San Antonio Slough, opposite the resi- 
dence of Messrs. Patton, on the following terms: The bridge shall be commenced forthwith and finished with 
expedition. I will charge and receive to my own use tolls at the following rates, to-wit: Each footman, twelve 
cents- horses, cattle, etc. , each twenty-five cents; vehicle drawn by one or two animals, fifty cents, and other 
things in like proportion. Said bridge shall be free from taxation or assessment. I will surrender said bridge to 
the county, to be made a free bridge and to be used only as a bridge, at any time within twelve months, on their 
payment to me of the original cost of its construction, together with interest thereon at three per cent, per month. 
It shall be finished from bank to bank. This proposition to be binding on its acceptance by the Court of Sessions 
ofi Contra Costa County. [Signed] H. W. Carpentier. 

198 History of Alameda County, California. 

This is the first appearance of the Twelfth-street bridge, but by no means the 
last. ; 

The Court after due consideration ordered that the proposition be accepted, care- 
fully guarding the county, however, from any obligation to redeem the same, or in any- 
wise to become pecuniarily responsible in the matter. The Court then proceeded to 
levy a poll-tax for highway purposes of two days' work on all able-bodied men be- 
tween the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, for the year 1853, after which catholic 
and comprehensive legislation, it proceeded to bring its first day's labor to a close by 
adjournment "till to-morrow morning at eight o'clock." The record of this adjourned 
meeting is dated May 7, iS^j, a month prior to the first one. The only business 
transacted by the Court at this time was the fixing of allowances to officers of the 
late election at five dollars per day, and passing claims against the county, aggre- 
gating six hundred and twenty-three dollars and forty cents, divided as follows: — 

D. S. Lord, for blank books and stationery $425.00 

A. M. Church, services, obtaining books, stationery and trimming for desk, etc 49.00 

Homer & Stevens, lumber for county desk 26.00 

Perham & Weaver, work on county desk 81.00 

Justices Long and Lacey, two days' services as Associate Justices @ $6. 00 per day each. . . . 24.00 
Justices Marier, Harris, and McMurtry, one day's services so as to elect Associate Justices @ 

$6.00 per day each 18.00 

At the next meeting the election precincts in the different townships were estab- 
lished, after which the Court resolved itself into a Board of Equalization and proceeded 
to levy a tax upon all real and personal property in the county, of sixty cents upon 
each one hundred dollars, " instead of thirty cents heretofore ordered by this Board at 
a special term held at this place on the nth day of May, 1853." As the Court was 
organized on June 6th, this levy refers to the proceedings of Contra Costa County. 
From this date forward the time of the Court was chiefly occupied with road matters, 
with occasional variations, as for instance, on August 2d, George Kerr & Co., presented 
a bill for thirty dollars for printing one hundred hand-bills, which the Court, after due 
consideration, cut down to fifteen dollars, therein setting an example of careful 
scrutiny and rigid economy in public affairs far mqre worthy of imitation than modern 
legislative bodies generally seem to consider it. In this connection it may be truly 
said that this county was unusually fortunate in the selection of its first officers. They 
were very .careful, accurate, methodical men, leaving for the most part clear and intel- 
ligible record of their public work behind them, and if further evidence be required 
of this, it is to be found in the fact that the only two survivors of the first elected 
officers of Alameda County are still occupying elective positions of honor and trust 
among the descendants of those whose excellent judgment first called upon them for 
public service. The well-worn proverb, " As the twig is bent the tree's inclined," 
receives ample confirmation both in the legislative and executive history of this 
county, for, with rare exceptions, the confidence reposed in those selected for office has 
never been violated. It is but just and proper that the full measure of praise should 
be meted out to the faithful public officer: The difficulties that beset his path are no 
more understood by the people at large than are the duties devolving upon him by 
statute; he is required to interpret as well as to execute the law, and, upon his decision 
important private as well as public interests ofttimes depend. When attention is 

. Political History of the County. 199 

called to these facts and well-earned praise is bestowed upon him, it is too often met 
with the contemptuous and contemptible reply that " anybody can do as well." This 
same anybody is occasionally tried and found wanting, and then what a howl goes up 
from the virtuous people! The individual is taken for the class, denunciation is poured 
forth with unstinting measure, and the honest public official hangs his head in shame 
for his race, feeling that in retiring from his trust he will carry within himself the only 
reward of a well-administered official career — a mind conscious of right. Honest 
officials outnumber dishonest ones a thousand-fold, popular clamor to the contrary not- 
withstanding, and the time has come when we should understand this, and though 
late in the day, yet render equal and £xact justice to all. — to the good- as well as to the 

On September 9th an election was held in the county, at which the following 
officers were chosen for one year: Asa Walker, S. P. Hopkins, H. M. Randall, B. F. 
Ferris, A. Marshall, William Fleming, Calvin Rogers, and S. H. Robinson, Justices of 
the Peace; A. B. Atwell, D. N. Van Dyke, William H. Walker, Constables. The 
Court of Sessions makes no record of this election, either by proclamation or by can- 
vass of returns. In October following, these Justices, convened and elected A. Mar- 
shall and S. H. Robinson from among their number as Associate Justices, while, the 
most noteworthy event that occurred thereafter was the presentation of a claim for 
seven thousand two hundred and four dollars, seventy-three cents, against Alameda 
by the county of Santa Clara. 

By a reference to section eleven of the Organic Act, it will be seen that two Com- 
missioners were to be appointed from each of the counties of Santa Claraand Contra 
Costa to meet like Commissioners of Alameda County who should determine and fix 
the amount of indebtedness due to the two former by the latter. The report of this 
Commission is preserved and shows that on July 25, 1853, the Board of Supervisors 
of Santa Clara County appointed H. C. Melone and John Yontz as their members. 
Mr. Melone was County Clerk and certifies to the genuineness of his own appointment. 
The Court of Sessions of Contra Costa County, on June 8th of the same year appointed 
J. F. Williams and Thomas A. Brown their members, the latter gentleman being the 
County Clerk of his county at the time. These four gentlemen met in Alameda 
County, and the record of their proceedings, bearing date August 15, 1853, sets forth 
that they find the sum of seven thousand two hundred and four dollars and seventy- 
three cents due from Alameda to Santa Clara, and the sum of six thousand two hun- 
dred and forty-seven dollars and sixty-four cents due to Contra Costa from the same 
source. The claim of Santa Clara County was therefore presented to the Court of 
Sessions as above stated, at the September Term thereof, and was held under advise- 
ment until the December Term following, at which time the claim was rejected on the 
ground that the award was made "wholly without authority of law; " the Court further 
" do not in any way admit the same to be correct as to amount, or that anything what- 
ever is due from Alameda to Santa Clara County." 

It is difficult to understand how the Honorable Court arrived at this conclusion, 
with the recently enacted statute before them. They might have disputed the claim 
as regards its equitableness, but the mandatory character of the law covering the case 
seems to dispel all doubt as to its legality. 

200 History of Alameda County, California. 

The matter again became the subject of State legislation and on May i, 1854, an 
Act was passed fixing the indebtedness at six thousand four hundred and seventy- 
four dollars, to be paid in two equal sums on or before January i, 1855 and 1856, and 
ordering the Court of Sessions to make the necessary tax levies to meet the obligations. 
Accordingly, the first levy was made August 24, 1854; the first payment on account 
was made March 3, 1855, of two thousand one hundred dollars, and they were con- 
tinued at irregular intervals until October i, 1857, at which time the account showed 
that six thousand two hundred and thirty-five dollars had been paid, leaving a balance 
on hand of seventy-eight dollars. 

In December, 1853, the county was again divided into townships, the number 
being reduced to five, and that of Contra Costa being absorbed in Oakland, while the 
boundaries of the others were materially altered. 

1854. — The year 1854 brought to Alameda County, among its first offerings, the 
claim of Contra Costa, which was certified to at the same time as that of Santa Clara 
County. The Court of Sessions made the same disposition of this claim that it did 
of the other; the like resort to the Legislature was had, and that body, under date 
May 15, 185 s, enacted that B. C. Whitman of Solano County be appointed a Com- 
missioner to adjust the indebtedness, and that he should enter on the discharge of his 
duties " as soon as a suit now pending in the District Court in favor of T. C. Gilman 
and against the county of Contra Costa shall be finally terminated," at a time 
appointed by himself, at the town of Martinez, and in conjunction with the County 
Clerks of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. 

This matter of the county's indebtedness dragged its slow length along — let us 
follow it. On April 26, 1862, B. C. Whitman and Charles Fish were appointed to 
ascertain and award the amount of indebtedness of Alameda County to Contra Costa. 
In their report, presented in the form of a communication addressed jointly to the 
Supervisoral Boards of the two counties interested, the following decision is found: 
" They (the Commissioners) find that the county of Contra Costa has paid on account 
of obligations existing at the time of the organization of the county of Alameda the 
sum of thirty-six thousand seven hundred and fifty-five dollars, fifteen cents. That 
the said county of Alameda was justly and equitably bound for a portion thereof, 
amounting to fifteen thousand five hundred and eighteen dollars, seventy-eight cents. 
That under and by virture of an award heretofore made on June 4, 1858, said county 
of Alameda has paid to the county of Contra Costa the sum of three thousand nine 
hundred and forty-five dollars, sixty-six cents; leaving unpaid a balance of eleven 
thousand five hundred and seventy-four dollars, twelve cents, equitably due from the 
county of Alameda to the county of Contra Costa, arising out of obligations existing 
against the county of Contra Costa, at the time of the organization of the said county of 
Alameda. Therefore we do hereby award said sum of eleven thousand five hundred 
and seventy-four dollars, twelve cents, as equitably due under and by virtue of the pro- 
visions of the Act aforesaid from the county of Alameda to the county of Contra Costa, 
and, by virtue of the powers conferred upon us, we declare and certify the same to 
your honorable bodies, as by said Act directed and charged." 

In an appeal from the. Fourth Judicial District Court to the Supreme Court, 
Justice Lorenzo Sawyer, in the case "The People ex rel. The County of Contra Costa 

C^^i^y^ . /<S^ 


Political History of the County. 201 

versus The Board of Supervisors of the County of Alameda" (Cal. Rep. pp. 646-652), 
rendered the following decision in this matter: — 

"In 1852, one Oilman built abridge for the county of Contra Costa, upon a 
contract for about eight thousand dollars, to bear interest at the rate of five per cent, 
per month till paid. The bridge was not completed till some time in 1853. On the 
23d of March, 1853, the county of Alameda was created by the Legislature out of 
territory taken from the counties of Contra Costa and Santa Clara, and the said 
bridge fell within the new county of Alameda. The contract for building the bridge 
being with the county of Contra Costa, and the money being unpaid, Gilman sued 
that county for the amount due, and in 1856 recovered a judgment of upwards of 
twenty thousand dollars, with accruing interest and costs. In 1858, the Legislature 
passed an Act appointing Commissioners to adjust the amouat to be paid by Ala- 
meda County to Contra Costa County, as her share of the debt that had accrued 
while a portion of Alameda County formed a part of the county of Contra Costa, 
but the Commissioners in their award were limited by the Act to the indebtedness 
which had accrued prior to, the 23d of March, 1853, the dateof the creation of the 
new county. At that date no interest on the bridge contract had accrued. The 
Commissioners awarded against Alameda County the sum of three thousand nine 
hundred and forty-four dollars and sixty-six cents, but, for reasons before stated, the 
award did not include any interest on the bridge contract. This award was afterwards, 
in i860 and 1861, paid to the county of Contra Costa. On the 14th of March, i860, 
the Legislature passed an Act empowering and requiring the Board of Supervisors 
of Contra Costa County to levy a special tax for the payment of the judgment, inter- 
ests and costs recovered by Gilman in 1856 on the bridge contract, which was accord- 
ingly done and the judgment paid by the county of Contra Costa. 

"In 1862, another Act was passed, reciting in its preamble the payment by 
Contra Costa County, in pursuance of said Act of i860, of the said Gilman judgment 
of ' thirty-one thousand dollars,, some twenty-four thousand dollars of the amount 
being for interest * * * on an obligation contracted before the organization of 
Alameda County,' etc., and in the body of the Act appointing Commissioners ' to 
ascertain and award the amount of 'indebtedness, if any be found equitably due, from 
the county of Alameda to the county of Contra Costa on account of obligations 
existing at the time of the organization of the said county of Alameda.' The Com- 
missioners are required, if any award be found against the county of Alameda, to 
certify the same to the Boards of Supervisors of the respective counties, and there- 
upon the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County are required, within a specified 
time, to levy a tax for the purpose, and pay the amount so awarded to the county of 
Contra Costa. Under this Act the Commissioners awarded in favor of Contra Costa 
County against the county of Alameda the sum of eleven thousand five hundred 
and seventy-four dollars and twelve cents, the sum being for a portion of the said 
interest paid by the county of Contra Costa on the said bridge contract, and the 
judgment thereon, and for nothing else. The award having been certified to the 
Boal-d of Supervisors of Alameda County, and a demand that the tax for its payment 
be levied in pursuance of the Act having been made, and the said Board having 
refused to levy the same, an alternative mandamus was issued by the District Court 

202 History of Alameda County, California. 

of the Fourth Judicial District against said Board in this case, which was afterwards 
by the judgment of the Court, made peremptory. From the judgment this appeal is 

" The appellants make two points: Firstly, the county of Contra Costa has no 
power to act as a relator, for the county is not a party beneficially interested. 
Secondly, the Legislature has trespassed upon the judicial power. 

" There is nothing in the first point. The judgment paid was against the county 
of Contra Costa, and the money awarded is to go into the treasury of the county. 
It makes no difference that the law provides that ' it shall be apportioned in the 
treasury of the county of Contra Costa,' for certain specified purposes, viz., for the 
construction of certain roads, and to the ' County School Fund.' The county has 
charge of the funds, and is the trustee appointed by the law to apply it to the public 
uses specified, all of which are appropriate county charges. The county is, we think, 
' a party beneficially interested,' within the meaning of the 'Practice Act. 

"It is objected that in appointing Commissioners to ascertain and award the amount 
to be paid by Alameda County to Contra Costa County, the Legislature conferred 
upon them judicial functions, and thereby usurped powers that, under the Constitu- 
tion, belong exclusively to the judicial department of the Government. It will be 
observed that the money claimed was not a legal demand by one county against 
another, growing out of contracts or transactions between themselves, which could be 
litigated between them and enforced by suit in a court of justice. The claim as 
between the counties arose solely out of legislative action in creating the new county 
of Alameda in part out of the county of Contra Costa, and wholly independent of 
the action of either county as between themselves. The Legislature is charged by the 
Constitution with the power and duty of establishing a sy.stem of county and town 
governments. (Article IX., Section 4.) It may divide counties and create new ones, 
or change the boundaries, as in its wisdom it may deem the public interest to require. 
And in creating new counties out of territory taken from counties already organized, 
it is but just that it should apportion the debts already accrued between the new and 
old counties in the ratio of the territory, population, taxable property and benefits 
conferred on the respective counties or portions of counties affected by the change. 
It possesses the taxing power, and the power to determine for what objects of public 
interest, and to what extent, the taxing power shall be exercised. As incident to 
these powers, it is authorized to apportion the taxes either upon the whole State, or 
upon particular districts, according as the object is 'one of general or local interest or 
benefit. It may say what amount shall be paid by one district, and what amount 
by another. 

" In the case of Town of Guilford vs. Supervisors of Chenango County (3 Ker., 
149), the Court of Appeals of New York say: 'The Legislature is not confined in its 
appropriation of the public moneys, or of the sums to be raised by taxation in favor 
of individuals, to cases in which a legal demand exists against the State. It can 
thus recognize claims founded in equity and justice, in the largest sense of these 
terms, or in gratitude or charity. Independently of express constitutional restrictions, 
it can make appropriations of money whenever the public well-being requires, or 
will be promoted by it; and it is the judge of what is for the public good. It can. 

Political History of the County. 203 

moreover, under the power to levy taxes, apportion the pubh'c burdens among all the 
tax-paying citizens of the State, or among those of a particular section or political 

" This was in a case where certain parties had sued the town of Guilford for 
expenses incurred and paid by them in conducting, by direction of the town, certain 
litigation on the part of the town, but in said suit failed to recover against the to\yn 
the amount so expended, because the town was not legally liable. Subsequently 
the Legislature authorized the town, upon the vote of the majority of the inhabi- 
tants, to raise the sum expended and equitably due from the town, by tax, and to pay 
the demand; but directing that the decision of the people should be final. The inhab- 
itants voted the proposition down. The Legislature then passed a law authorizing 
Commissioners to determine and award the amount expended by the parties in the 
litigation, and directing the Supervisors of the county to levy a tax upon the town 
of Guilford and pay the amount so awarded^ The town resisted the tax on the 
ground that it was unconstitutional, and among other points it was insisted that the 
Legislature had usurped judicial functions. But the law was upheld. The Court 
further say in the case: ' The statute-book is full, perhaps too full, of laws awarding 
damages and compensation of various kinds to be paid by the public to individuals 
who had failed to obtain, what they considered equitably due to them by the deci- 
sion of administrative officers acting under the provisions of former laws. The courts 
have no power to supervise or review the doings of the Legislature in such cases.' 

"The Legislature, then, may, in its discretion, determine the objects for which, 
and the extent to which, the taxing power shall be exercised, and may apportion the 
taxes to be levied. In ascertaining the amount that ought equitably to be charged 
upon the different districts, as a gyide to the exercise of this discretion, it may pur- 
sue its own methods, and employ its own instruments. 

" In this case the county of Contra Costa, in making a necessary public improve- 
ment — a bridge- — incurred an obligation, which was chargeable upon the entire 
county. After the obligation was incurred, but before the entire amount subsequently 
paid had become due, the county was divided and a large portion of the territory, 
population, and taxable property liable for the demand was, by the Legislature, cut 
off from the county of Contra Costa, and erected into the new county of Alameda — 
the new county including the bridge for the erection of which the obligation was 
incurred. Equity, at least, required that the Legislature, in making the division of 
the territory, should then, or at some subsequent time, ascertain, in some manner, the 
portion of the debt then accrued or to accrue on existing obligations, that should be 
equitably apportioned to each of the counties. The Legislature chose to make the 
apportionment through Commissioners appointed by itself The amount chargeable 
upon the whole territory originally liable had, at the time of the passage of the law, 
been fixed by the judgment of a competent Court, and it was only necessary to make 
the apportionment. There are two apportionments necessary: firstly, between the two 
counties, and secondly, each county is to apportion its share among the taxable inhab- 
itants of the county. The latter apportionment as much involves the exercise of 
judicial functions as the former. Both require an examination of facts, and the exer- 
cise of judgment. Both depend upon the same principles, and stand upon the same 

204 History of Alameda County, California. 

footing. But neither is in the nature of a suit litigated between contending parties. 
The entire amount to be paid is fixed by judgment. The Legislature provides the 
mode and designates the officers who shall make both apportionments; and we think 
the power is peculiarly within the province of the legislative department of the 
Government. It makes no difference whether each county is directed to levy its pro- 
portion of the debt and pay it directly to Gilman, or whether the whole is first raised 
by the county of Contra Costa and paid to Gilman, and then the county of Ala- 
meda raises its portion and pays it to the county of Contra Costa. We think, 
therefore, the apportionment of the amount to be paid by the respective counties was 
not an encroachment upon the powers with which the judicial department is charged 
within the meaning of the Constitution. It is a power that has usually been exer- 
cised in other States, as well as heretofore in this State, by the political, and seldom, 
if ever, by the judicial department of the Government. 

" Mr. Justice Shafter, having been of counsel in the case, did not participate in 
the decision." 

On May i, 1854, the Court of Sessions made the tax levy, there being directed 
to be collected a special tax of twenty-five cents on each one hundred dollars' worth 
of property, for the purpose of erecting county buildings. In August they established 
the first Salary Fund, four thousand five hundred dollars being set apart out of the 
county revenue as a Judicial Fund for the payment of the County Judge, District 
Attorney, and Associate Justices of the Peace, who formed the Court for one year. 
In the month of September the township of Alameda was created by these function- 
aries, and its boundaries slightly changed at the next subsequent meeting. October 
2d, John Travis and S. H. Robinson were elected Associate Justices, while, at the 
same time. Assessor Goucher resigned and was succeeded by Charles W. Breyfogle. 
About the same date Arunah Marshall was reappointed Jueces del Campo (Judge of 
the Plains). This was an office that had its origin under Spanish rule, and was con- 
sidered of sufficient importance to be continued under the State Government; accord- 
ingly we find the office created under the Act approved October 2, 1854, and its 
functions defined. The Jueces del Campo were officers whose duties were confined to 
the cattle interests of the country ; they attended the annual rodeos, and settled all dis- 
putes arising as to ownership, brands, etc. The Act referred to conferred substantially 
the same powers upon the office as continued. 

1855. — The time of the Court of Sessions in its supervisory capacity was now 
rapidly drawing to a close: its last meeting as such bears date January 22, 1855, and 
its last record, like its first, was in the interest of the county roads. 

On March 9, 1855, the Act creating a Board of Supervisors for Alameda County 
was approved. It provided that the first Board should be elected on the third Mon- 
day of March, and annually thereafter. This election was duly held March 19th, and 
on April 2d the Board convened at the Court House in San Leandro for the trans- 
action of business. There were then present: Henry C. Smith, of Washington 
Township; A. C. Austin, of Clinton Township; James W. Dougherty, of Murray 
Township; J. L. Sanford, of Oakland Township; James Millington, of Alameda 
Township ; and S. D. Taylor, of Eden Township. Mr. Douglierty having been elected 

Political History of the County. 205 

Chairman of the Board, and the labors of their office commenced, their first duty 
was the appointment of a committee to examine claims against the county, and the 
fixing of the yearly tax levy. At the same meeting the County Treasurer was 
empowered to expend two hundred dollars for a safe. 

The necessity for more commodious accommodation for the public offices had 
been for some considerable time pressingly felt, the rented apartments occupied, 
although they had hitherto served their purpose, having become inadequate to the 
increasing wants of the community. From the previous years' tax collections there 
had accumulated a fund to which an addition was made by a provision in the levy for 
the current year; a committee was accordingly appointed by the Board of Super- 
visors of Alameda County, " to contract for the erecting of a frame building thirty by 
sixty feet and twelve feet high to the eaves, not to exceed in cost twelve hundred 
dollars, to be erected in San Leandro." Sealed proposals were invited therefor, to be 
opened on the fifteenth day of May, which is the last record in the matter until July 
lOth following, when the Building Committee report the structure completed at the 
rather startlingly extravagant sum of twelve hundred and sixty-five dollars. 

The history of the seat of justice of Alameda County is somewhat interesting, 
and is worthy of extended notice. At first, as we have seen, it was located at Alva- 
rado, the then center of the county's population. So soon as it had been determined 
to erect county buildings, in the year 1854, the various towns, villages, and hamlets 
with wonderful unanimity came forward and pleadingly urged their several claims for 
the distinction which popular sentiment had already decided could no longer be 
accorded to Alvarado. Petitions were actively circulated and a sufficient number of 
signatures obtained to justify the calling of an election to determine the future county 
seat. The matter came to a vote on December 5, 1854, and the canvass showed a 
total of one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two votes cast, which were divided 
among seven locations, as follows: Alameda, 232; Alvarado, 614; San Leandro, 782; 
Oakland, 18; San Lorenzo, 220; Haywards Town, 4; Haywards, 11 ;* 

No town having received a majority of all the votes cast, another election was 
ordered to be held on December 30th. This time public interest centered upon two 
places only — Alvarado and San Leandro, the former receiving ten hundred and sixty- 
seven, and the latter thirteen hundred and one votes, and thus securing the prize. It 
will be remarked that the aggregate vote of the last-mentioned election, viz., two 
thousand three hundred and sixty-eight, exceeded that of the first-named by ,over 
five hundred ballots, a fact which must not be taken as an indication either of increased 
interest in the matter, or of sudden growth in population. It was accomplished by 
the most bare-faced fraud, in support of which statement we have the> evidence of 
those yet living, who know whereof they speak. An election in that day was a " free 
to all:" men were imported from San Francisco by the boat-load; no conditions were 
imposed at the polls that were not readily complied with by such characters, and as 
a consequence numerical results were obtained that were not equaled years afterwards, 
under more salutary regulations of the election franchise. 

The newly-acquired honors of San Leandro, however, were not destined to 
remain long uncontested. 

*lt is probable that the last two mean one and the same place. 

206 History of Alameda County, California. 

The county buildings, as before stated, were finished in July, 185S; On August 
9th following. Supervisor Dougherty was delegated " to represent the Board of Super- 
visors of this county at the hearing of an application for peremptory mandamus 
before the Hon. C. P. Hester, Judge of the Third Judicial District, to be held at San 
]os6 on the loth instant, and to adopt such measures as may be necessary and proper 
to protect the interests of this county in the matter." The mandate was presumably 
issued to determine the legal right of the County Judge to order the election, and to 
determine therefrom the location of the county seat. The question was settled at 
once, and in a manner not favorable to the claims of San Leandro, for the next 
meeting of the Board of Supervisors is recorded on the i6th August "at the Court- 
room in Alvarado." This arrangement, however, was not at all satisfactory to those 
who were managing the San Leandro scheme, and resort was next had to the Leg- 
islature, and on February 8, 1856, a bill was approved which once more gave them 
the coveted prize. Justice again betook herself to wheels, and on the loth of March 
following we find her proclaimed once more from the Court House at San Leandro, 
destined at least to enjoy the quiet happiness of a fixed and permanent abode for a 
number of years to come, and here we will take advantage of her state of quiescence 
to resume the thread of current history so abruptly broken off. 

At the meeting of the Board of Supervisors on July 10, 1855, a resolution was 
adopted authorizing the Auditor hereafter to draw their warrants for mileage both 
going to and returning from the county seat, a measure authorized by section eighteen 
of the Act approved March 20, 1855, though not strictly applicable to this Board, 
which was created by a special Act. Shortly after this another peculiar order appears, 
as follows: " That the total amount of the county's proportion of the nassessed {sic) 
taxes for the year 1854, when collected, be applied to the County Common School 
Fund." At the same time a property tax of two cents on each one hundred dollars 
was levied for road purposes, and a road poll tax of three dollars was made levia- 
ble on all adult males between the ages of twenty-one and fifty years. At this 
session the District Attorney, at his own instance, was instructed to bring suit " upon 
the official bond of Jotham S. Marston, late Treasurer of said county, to recover a 
judgment for any defalcation as such Treasurer." 

As soon as the county officials had betaken themselves to Alvarado in August, 
1855, a question very properly arose touching the legality of all county business 
transacted at San Leandro during its occupancy as the shire town, from April 2d to 
August 15, 1855. The Board of Supervisors, therefore, to make their record unim- 
peachable, passed a curative resolution affirming and re-enacting all res olutions and 
enactments passed by them during that time. On September 17th the returns of 
the general election held on the gth of that month were canvassed, and the statement 
ordered on file. 

The propriety of making election returns a matter of record was not observed 
until the year 1859; as a consequence the matter of accurately determining official 
incumbency and succession up to that time is beset with more diflficulties than would 
at first appear. Documentary evidence is not always at hand; tradition is not always 
reliable, and the final resort is the examination of events with which the oflficial 
record sought may be directly or indirectly connected. Great care should be bestowed 

Political History of the County. 207 

upon the preservation of official history in a county; records can scarcely be made 
too full and minute; matters that appear of minor importance at the time may assume 
serious importance in the future. The filing away of a paper usually results in its 
loss, and this may lead to extensive and expensive litigation; the time spent in 
recording it may prove to be time saved a thousand-fold. 

October i, 1855, the Supervisors-elect assembled and proceeded to organize, there 
being present: Henry C. Smith of Washington, Thomas Eager of Clinton, Henry 
Haile of Alameda, George Fay of Eden, F. W. Lucas of Murray, S. D. Taylor of 
Oakland — the last holding over by virtue of a tie vote, and Mr. Smith being chosen 
Chairman. This Board evidently understood that county matters had heretofore been 
handled with a rather loose rein, therefore they went to work in good earnest to bring 
them up to a more distinct business standard. The official bonds of all officers-elect 
were carefully examined, all county and township officers were required to make report 
at once; a committee was appointed to examine and report upon the condition of the 
Treasurer's books; that official himself was required to file an additional bond of 
thirty thousand dollars, within ten days (which he did); the acting Coroner, S. H. 
Crocker, having failed to file an additional bond, was ousted; and matters generally 
were "brought up with a round turn." More attention was also paid to school affairs 
than had hitherto been manifested; the pay of School Trustees was fixed at three 
dollars per diem, while on duty. Washington Township was divided into three school 
districts, and another one formed in each of the townships of Oakland and Eden, and 
one from parts of Eden and Clinton. A special election was also ordered for Super- 
visor in Oakland Township, to be held November 24, 1855, made necessary by the tie 
vote at the general election. No further record appears of this, but as Mr. Taylor con- 
tinues to occupy the position on the archives, he was doubtless re-elected at that time. 

1856. — Up to January, 1856, county officers had not responded promptly to the 
order of the Board regarding their reports, therefore, on the 8th of that month they 
were notified that unless their quarterly reports were forthcoming as required by law 
their duty in this regard would be legally enforced. This edict had the desired effect 
and thenceforth these matters were more promptly attended to than ever before. 
At this time, also, it was determined that the Special Act creating a Board of Super- 
visors should be repealed and the county be brought under the General Act of March 
3, 1855, for the evident reason that under this latter bill the scope of the Board was 
more extended and its duties and powers more general. Accordingly, April 3, 1856, 
an Act was approved repealing that already mentioned, and subjecting the county to 
the General Act above referred to, which provides that certain counties, Alameda 
among the number, should be allowed five Supervisors instead of three, as provided for 
the counties at large. 

On Macch 10, 1856, the county seat being again at San Leandro, a resolution- 
introduced by Supervisor Eager was adopted " that the places called San Antonio 
and Clinton, and the township heretofore known and called Clinton be, and they are 
hereby consolidated, and that the whole territory embraced within the original limits 
of said township of Clinton shall hereafter be known as and called Brooklyn." This 
matter had been acted upon at a previous meeting in March but the resolution then 

208 History of Alameda County, California. 

adopted did not correctly state, nor fully cover the case as petitioned for by tie ci 
zens of the territory referred to. A committee was al?o appointed to ascertain 
probable cost of a brick jail, an institution that, up to thig time, the county nao 
aged to get along without, the worst cases of criminals- having, been confined m e 
San Francisco prison, and the others cared for as best could be done. In the mont 
of May more school districts were formed; the sum of five hundred and sixteen dollars 
was appropriated to pay R. J. Horner for a bridge built by him above Alvarado across 
the Alameda Creek; and a resolution was adopted looking to the building of a Court 
House and jail, a committee being appointed to visit the newly-erected buildings of 
this nature at Martinez, also one to ascertain upon what terms Carpentier's Bridge 
(Twelfth Street Bridge, Oakland) could be purchased. The pay of the Supervisors 
was at that time fixed at four dollars per day; the survey of the county and township 
boundary lines, and the construction of maps proposed; and to, close the month's pro- 
ceedings the Clerk was directed to procure from the Secretary of State a copy of the 
laws affecting Boards of Supervisors in general, and that of Alameda County in par- 
ticular, our Honorable Board being evidently determined that all of their acts should 
stand the test of legal scrutiny. 

In June the Building Committee presented a plan for county buildings and were 
instructed to ascertain the probable cost thereof; the Treasurer was instructed to pro- 
cure the county's portion of the State Indigent Sick Fund — now due for two quarters; 
while a new township called Jefferson was created out of portions of Eden and Wash- 
ington, the order creating it being, however, rescinded and vacated at the next meet- 
ing. In July sealed proposals were invited for building a Court House and jail, to be 
opened August 5th, and the annual tax levy was made. On August 5, 1856, nine 
bids for erecting county buildings were opened and found to range from twenty-six 
thousand to thirty-nine thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars; on the 8th of that 
month the contract was awarded to C. B. Tool at thirty-two thousand four hundred 
dollars which was subsequently reduced to thirty thousand dollars by modifications in 
the plans. On the i8th of August it was decided to employ a suitable person to 
tighten the screzvs of San Leandro Bridge. This was undoubtedly meant to be construed 
literally although previous as well as subsequent action on the subject might warrant a 
figurative interpretation of the order. The County Surveyor at the same meeting was 
authorized to complete two maps of the county for which he should receive twenty- 
six hundred dollars when finished and approved. 

In the month of October the county was divided into five Supervisoral Districts 
in accordance with the general law, which were described and designated as follows: 
Township of Oakland, District Number One; Townships of Brooklyn and Alameda 
District Number Two; Township of Eden, District Number Three'; Township of 
Washington, District Number Four; Township of Murray, District Number Five. 

At this meeting the office of Public Administrator was declared vacant, the 
incumbent, Edwin Barnes, having failed to file the additional bond required of him- 
while on the same date Mr. Tool received his first installment on account of his con- 
tract' of fifteen hundred dollars, and Mr. Fairfield is allowed fifty dollars for working 
the Court House plans. 

On November 4th a general election was held throughout the State for Presiden- 

Political History of the County. 209 

tial electors, Members of Congress, State, County, and Township officers, the result of 
which in Alameda County will be found in the tabulated statement published herein. 
At this session of the Board, Noble Hamilton and Edward R. Carpentier were each 
allowed one hundred and twenty-five dollars for legal services in the case of The People, 
ex rel. vs. C. P Hester which grew out of the assessment made during the month of 
August for a County Building Fund. Those opposed to it made application to Hon. 
C. P. Hester, District Judge, for a writ of certiorari to review the said proceedings of 
the Supervisors. This the Judge refused to grant, whereupon application was made 
to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus directed to the said Judge compelling 
him to issue a writ as asked. The Court sustained the Judge in his decision, On the 
25th Hiram Keeney was appointed to superintend the building of the Court House; 
and with a vote of thanks to the Chairman the Board of Supervisors adjourned sine 
die. The ist of December following found the newly-elected Board assembled and 
ready for business. Mr. Dougherty was elected Chairman, the other members being, 
Thomas Eager, J. H. Mason, William Hayward, and J. A. Hobart. After the appoint- . 
ment of the usual standing committees, the remainder of the meeting — the only one 
in this month — was devoted to road and bridge matters. ' 


1857. — In January, 1857, and for some time following, the new Court House 
appeared to demand considerable attention. Doubts having been expressed as to the 
manner in which the work was being done it was ordered that a-competent brick-mason 
be employed to examine it carefully. A committee was also appointed for the same 
purpose. No fault appears to have been found, however, and the work progressed to 
its completion, July 8th, on which day the contractor was paid in full including five 
hundred and eighty dollars for extra work, his receipt for thirty thousand five hundred 
and eighty dollars being spread upon the records, while a committee received the key 
and delivered it to the Chairman of the Board. March 2d, Jotham S. Marston, the 
first County Treasurer, petitioned to be released from all liability on account of money 
stolen from the treasury during his term of office. The petition was refused. 

The history of this affair as gathered from those who were residents of the county 
seat at the time is as follows: Sometime during the year i8£^ the safe containing the 
county funds at Alvarado was robbed of about twelve thousand dollars. Hon. A. W. 
Crane, then County Judge, was in San Francisco at the time and being apprized 
of the robbery immediately crossed the bay and took the stage for Alvarado. Upon 
'arriving he at once proceeded to examine the locality of the occurrence closely. The 
rear of the building in which the safe was kept projected over the shelving bank of 
Alameda Creek affording standing room underneath. Here the Judge, while poking 
around in the loose sand w^ith his cane, discovered under the part of the build- 
ing on the bank, an old boot which he hooked on to and' noticing that it 
appeared to be very heavy, but still not attaching much importance to that fact, he 
drew it out, and emptied it of about four thousand dollars in gold. Other parties 
then provided long poles with hooks attached and succeeded in reducing the loss to 
about seven thousand dollars. Suspicion rested strongly upon certain parties but no 
evidence could be obtained that would warrant their arrest. Mr. Marston appealed 
to the Legislature — his only resort for relief— and that body in an Act approved Feb- 

210 History of Alameda County, California. 

riiary 3, 1857, granted it to him so far as the State's loss was concerned, and authorized 
and permitted the Bpard of Supervisors to give him credit and acquittance for the 
sum of seven thousand one hundred and fifty-six dollars and forty-four cents, the total 
shortage. Mr. Marston's petition, as'above stated, was refused; but in .August follow- 
ing, upon payment of three thousand four hundred and forty-one dollars and forty 
cents, he and his bondsmen were released from all responsibility in the matter and 
legal proceedings against them stopped. 

At this time two irregularities in the acts of former Boards were discovered and 
it was ordered that all Auditor's warrants drawn previous to July i, 1856, be destroyed, 
and a committee be appointed to examine and check up, to same date all. allowances 
made by previous Boards. Some doubt existed at this period also as to whether 
sufficient power was conferred upon County Supervisors by the General Act of 1855 
to justify a tax levy for erecting county buildings, and the delegation from Alameda 
County was instructed to put forth every effort to have the question settled by legis- 
lative enactment. This resulted in a Special Act, approved April 18, 1857, authoriz- 
ing a tax levy of 3 quarter of one per cent, for the building of a Court House and jail 
in Alameda County. Matters of ordinary interest occupied the Board during most 
of this year. On August 3d the annual tax levy was proclaimed; on the Sfti it was 
ordered that possession of the new Court House be taken at once by the county officers, 
the same having been made ready for occupancy. August lOth Surveyor Higley 
presented the county maps contracted for in 1856, and received his stipulated price 
therefor, viz.: two thousand six hundred dollars; while, at the same time the plan of 
Mr. Hobart for furnishing the Court House was adopted, the contract for which was 
awarded to Freeman & Smith at eleven hundred dollars. The tax levies for the 
years 1854-55-56 having been declared null and void were ordered' stricken from the 
rolls so far as the State's portion was concerned and the Collector ordered to receive 
fifty per cent, of the county portion in full of all demands. Then, after having can- 
vassed the returns of the late election, and attended to the inevitable road matter the 
Board adjourned sine die. 

On October 5, 1857, the following-named gentlemen assembled at the county seat, 
to whom were delegated^he care of the county's interest for the following year: James 
W. Dougherty, F. K. Shattuck, James B. Larue, J. R. Mason, and C, P. Wray, the first- 
named serving as Chairman. At this meeting two luckless Justices of the Peace, 
John R. Wales, of Washington, and B. F. Ferris, whose claims had been ignored by. 
the Returning Board, petitioned for their rights, and, upon due consideration, the 
former was granted a certificate, but his fellow-sufferer was forced to wait for his 
position until the next meeting. 

1858. — In February the contract with the Alameda County Gazette for printing 
the proceedings of the Board was annulled; the salary of the School Superintendent 
was fixed at four hundred dollars, payable quarterly, scarcely enough to pay his livery 
bill if he discharged his duties as prescribed; on the same date the monthly pay of 
the Treasurer was increased seventy-five dollars. The Act approved April 28, 1857, 
regulating fees in office of certain counties — Alameda among the number — received 
the hearty endorsement of the Board; on February 2d the annual tax levy was made; 

Political History of the County. 211 

this levy is remarkable in that the authoritative Act for each item in the count is 
referred to. On the day following, the Legislature, by Act approved February 2, 
1858, fixed the maximum of State tax at sixty cents; the change above referred to 
in this connection was made 'in March. The 26th of February should be known as 
a red-letter day in the calendar of Alameda County, for upon that day the Honorable 
Board of Supervisors attempted to reduce its own per diem allowance from four to 
three dollars, and failed. Mr. Wray was the image smasher who precipitated this 
unwholesome and unparalleled piece of legislation upon his Honorable confreres^ 
and that, too, without any previous warning. The party of " old ideas " was equal 
to the emergency, however, and promptly squelched this bit of audacity by a tie vote, 
the rash author of the resolution and his coadjutor, J. B. Larue, being met by Messrs. 
Mason and Shattuck. How the Honorable Chairman, Mr. Dougherty, would have 
recorded himself had he been present those who know best can say; we only give the 
facts as they appear on record, for the benefit of any who may hereafter attempt 
such a rash innovation upon established precedents. 

In April we find that H. M. Vesey, Clerk, issued to H. M. Vesey, Auditor, three 
thousand blank county licenses, under Act of April 17, 1858, which is noteworthy 
only as one of the many absurdities that grew out of the combination of these two 
offices, another one of which is that the County Clerk files his official bond with 
the "Auditor, and that oiificer his with the County Clerk, both being the same "party. 

At the first meeting in June, 1858, the matter of the Contra Costa County debt 
came up for action. In April previous the Legislature approved a bill appointing B. C. 
Whitman, of Solano County, John H. Livingston, of Contra Costa County, and J. W. 
Dougherty, of Alameda County, a committee to adjust and certify the amount of the 
debt; the same Act also fixed the time of paying the claim, viz.: March i, 1859, and 
i860, one-half at each date. The amount found to be due was three thousand nine 
hundred and forty-four dollars and sixty-six cents, and a special tax of five cents was 
levied to meet the first payment. In the month of August the Santa Clara indebted- 
ness was finally settled by an order of the Board instructing the Auditor .to issue a 
warrant for eight hundred and eighty-two dollars and forty-seven cents, that being the 
amount found to be yet due thereon by Commissioners Melone and Dougherty. 
The general election for this year took place on September 21st, but there is no 
record of the returns ever having been canvassed. The Supervisors elected were F. 
K. Shattuck, for Oakland; Jonathan Mayhew, for Washington; J. A. Griffin, for 
Eden; S. M. Davis, for Alameda and Brooklyn; and Charles Duerr, for Murray. Mr. 
Shattuck was chosen Chairman, he being also the only member of the outgoing Board 

1859. — The new guardians of the public weal, following the proverb of the "new 
broom," made a clean sweep of all former county legislation on the subject of 
indigent sick, by repealing the same; they also examined the jail and reported 
alterations and improvements affecting its safety and sanitary condition; and gave 
the printing of their proceedings to the Gazette at six dollars per column. 
They also adopted an order of business and twelve rules for the government of their 
deliberations. Supervisor Mayhew at this time developed a talent for architecture. 

212 History of Alameda County, California. 

and profited thereby to the extent of ten dollars, that same having been allowed him 
for executing plans and specifications for an out-house. On February 9th, one 
Miguel Marquis petitioned for the refunding to him of one hundred and fifty dollars 
paid by him under protest for violating the Sunday Law, the same having been 
declared unconstitutional. Here we see the "little cloud no bigger than a man's 
hand " that was destined to spread over our entirfe political sky in the years to come, 
and prove a veritable Pandora's box to opposing parties. On the 28th of the same 
month the annual tax levy was made. A grant for a wharf at Fleming's Point was 
made by the Board on the 17th of May under provisions of the Act of April 8, 1858, 
while at the same session no less a sum than seven hundred dollars was allowed to Dr. 
Cole for medical care of an indigent. 

The care of sick and afflicted persons was a matter that had to be dealt with 
from the very organization of the State and legislative provisions relative thereto 
were enacted as rapidly as observation dictated the method or financial ability 
permitted their consummation. The first Legislature that assembled wisely foresaw 
that great suffering would necessarily follow unless legal provision should be made for 
the care and maintenance in sickness of the thousands who were flocking to the 
shores of the Pacific in their " sacred hunger for gold." The character of the early 
immigration to California differs widely from that to any other of the new States of 
the Union. The pioneer of Illinois brought with him his wife and children; his 
sturdy arm at once laid low the, mighty oaks of the primeval forest; his cabin was 
soon built; and cheered and encouraged by the presence of those he held most dear 
he entered at once upon the enjoyments — rude though they were — of an established 

Not so, however, with the " forty-niner " of California. He bade adieu to the 
loved ones at home and started forth upon his perilous journey over thousands of miles 
of trackless waste, beset with dangers on all sides, in pursuit of the land of gold. 
His journey accomplished, he at once sought the mines, and in rain and in sunshine, 
through night and day, " from morn till noon, from noon till dewy eve," he toiled with 
his pick and pan for the acquisition of the fortune that alas too often eluded his 
grasp. Finally, worn out by his excessive and unnatural toil, his physical vigor gave 
way and he lay upon a bed of sickness in his rude miner's hut. No loving wife nor 
mother to minister to his necessities and cheer and soothe him with her presence, but 
he was forced to combat with the Angel of Death single-handed, with only such 
help as could be expected from his associates, whose kindly hearts could not supply 
skill and proper care. As a consequence, his life was either cut off, or he rose from 
his bed ruined in fortune and so shattered in health as to become at once a burden 
and an object of charity. 

To meet this state of affairs we find among the statutes of 1850 one establishing 
a Marine Hospital at San Francisco, to which the sick of that city could be admitted 
upon proper application. Further legislation in 1851 located State Hospitals at Sac- 
ramento and Stockton, and in the month of April following two thousand dollars per 
annum was allowed to the city of San Diego for the care of indigent sick arriving at 
that port. In May, 1853, a General Law was passed establishing a State "Indigent 
Sick Fund" providing means for its maintenance and prescribing the manner of its 

Political History of the County. 213 

distribution to the organized counties of the State. This law was amended and its 
scope enlarged by the Act approved April ii, 1855, which, among other matters, 
delegated the care of indigent sick to the Boards of Supervisors of the respective 
counties, giving them power to appoint physicians, to erect hospital buildings, to levy a 
tax and to draw from the State Hospital Fund the amount apportioned to their county 

Under this Act we find the first record of the county of Alameda in this matter, 
bearing date May i, 1855, at which time the Board of Supervisors appointed Doctors 
D. C. Porter of Oakland, A. W. Powers of Eden, H. C. Sill of Washington, and 
William Wilworth of Clinton, County Physicians, who were allowed two dollars per 
visit and one dollar per mile traveling expenses, and in July following the first 
requisition was made for the amount of, Hospital Fund due. The first bill allowed 
on this fund was to W. J. Wentworth for medical attendance, etc., on Frederick 
Campbell, one hundred and eighty-three dollars. 

The Board of Physicians was continued, with various changes and one removed, 
until January i, 1856, at which time they were all discharged, the Supervisors prob- 
ably fearing that the bills resulting from their former order might prove a .serious 
matter. Up to this time the indigent sick, though possessing a "name'' in law, had 
no "local habitation." Their care was delegated to citizens, and it must have been a 
pleasure in those days to a poor sick person, if the comforts offered them were at all 
in proportion to the magnitude of the bills therefor that were audited and paid. The 
matter continued in this condition until the following August, when it was decided to 
procure a suitable place and means of providing for the indigent sick; accordingly a 
contract was made with Orrin Hamlin to that end, at the per capita allowance of 
twelve dollars a week. This ' arrangement continued but a short time, and on April 
4, 1857, an order appears abolishing the County Hospital, from date, and again com- 
mitting to the care of the Supervisors the sick of their respective districts. This was 
retrograde legislation, and merely serves to show that, in the face of what were more 
important matters, this very momentous one had not had bestowed upon it the 
thought and study that it deserved. However, a silent yet impressive influence was 
constantly being exerted in its favor, as bills poured in, and had to be disposed of; 
and in November, 1858, it was decided to ascertain at what expense the indigent sick 
could be cared for in hospital at San Francisco; also to advertise for sealed proposals 
for their care, and then to clear away all obstacles in the way of future legislation — 
all orders, rules, or resolutions appearing on the minutes of the Board of Supervisors 
relating to the care or attendance of indigent sick were repealed, and Supervisors were 
clothed with the authority of hospital stewards. This legislation seemed to affect the 
sanitary condition of the county unfavorably, as bills for medical attendance, nursing, 
etc., appeared in increased volume. As an instance, in June, 1859, the bill of Dr. 
Thomas Payne for attendance on indigent sick, five hundred dollars, was allowed, as 
was also that of Dr. Cole, mentioned above, for seven hundred dolla,rs for one 7nan. 
These bills were closely examined by the Finance Committee, and their payment 

We can easily imagine the feeling of relief that was experienced when, in Feb- 
ruary, i860, a proposition was received from St. Mary's Hospital, San Francisco, 

214 History of Alameda County, California. 

offering to take charge of the indigent sick of the county, at a per diem charge of one 
dollar and twenty-five cents per capita. Without hesitation the offer was accepted, 
and presumably all who could be safely moved were at once transferred thither, and 
yet we find among allowances shortly after, one of one hundred and forty-six dollars 
and twenty-five cents to the hospital, and an aggregate to others for the same purpose 
of four hundred and eighty-eight dollars and thirty cents, from which it may be 
inferred that either the hospital was unable to attend to all the indigent sick in Ala- 
meda County or, that the private citizens found county nursing far too profitable a source 
of revenue to be tamely surrendered; preponderance of evidence is found to sustain the 
latter view, for, up to February 2, 1861, forty-five per cent of all allowances on account 
of Indigent Sick Fund were made to parties other that the hospital. This was 
observed, in all probability, by the Supervisors, for, on the day last named, it was 
decided to advertise for sealed proposals for the care of the indigent sick of the 

Four bids were presented as follows : Thomas Green, M. D., for board, medical 
and other cares, one dollar and seventy-five cents per day; Joseph Ralph, for the like 
offices, one dollar and fifty cents per day; Henry Haile, twelve dollars per week; and 
Thomas Payne, two dollars per day. The records show that this last-named gentle- 
man accompanies his bid with a letter of considerable length, in which he states, 
among other things, that should he be -awarded the contract, he will do what he can 
to make them (the sick) comfortable, cost what it may, and adds, underscored and in 
quotations, " Liberality is my forte ". He also adds a bit of financial history to the 
effect that county scrip has been as low as seventy-five csnts on the dollar since his 
residence in the county. 

In due time thereafter a contract, covering twelve months, was made with Dr. 
Henry Haile "to board, lodge, take care of and furnish all msdicine and medical 
attendance necessary for the indigent sick at twelve dollars per week for each individ- 
ual;" his first bill was audited in August following, at two hundred and twenty-one 
dollars and thirteen cents, and the contract with St. Mary's Hospital was also con- 
tinued and claims allowed under it, amounting to three thousand seven hundred and 
fifty-two dollars and twenty-five cents up to May 5, 1862, at which date it was decided 
'' that all patients remaining in said hospital from this county be discharged there- 
from, from and after this date, and that all contracts express or implied heretofore or 
now existing with said hospital for the care of the indigent sick are hereby discon - 
tinued and ended from and after this date." At the same time the contract with 
Doctor Haile was renewed for one year from May 14, 1862, at ten dollars per week 
for each person; and was continued with him the following year at seven dollars and 
tv/enty-five. cents per capita. In May, 1864, the period for making the annual con- 
tract, time was taken for consideration and Doctor Haile was instructed to continue 
under his last contract till further orders. The object of this delay is clearly to be 
seen. While everything had been working smoothly under the contract system, and 
the monthly reports of the committee appointed to supervise the matter were favora- 
ble, yet, the necessities of the case were not fully met. Either from lack of room in 
Doctor Haile's hospital, or from some other cause, numbers of sick were still cared 
for on the outside and the monthly bills paid on their account aggregated a large 

Political History of the County. 215 

per centage of the total disbursements of the fund. - Added to this was the apparent 
fact that the contract system was a profitable business for at the last opening of bids 
the lowest one was less than one-half the rate of 1861. It was therefore thought biest 
to establish a County Kospital, the management of which should be directly in the 
hands of the Board of Supervisors, and it was so decided in August, 1 864. A Board 
of Managers was at once appointed, consisting of Supervisors Shattuck and Cummings 
and Doctor Edward Gibbons as Hospital Physician. A building was procured of Mrs. 
Lyon in the city of Oakland, at a monthly rental of thirty-five dollars and the new order 
of things was inaugurated at once, for we find on the 15 th of the same month allow- 
ances to various parties for supplies fop County Hospital, 'three hundred and fifty 
dollars, and on the 22d Doctor Haile was paid (presumably) in full under his contract, 
eight hundred and forty-five dollars and twelve cents. 

The hospital Steward, H. T. Burr, filed his quarterly report to date on February 
II, 1865, and regularly thereafter up to his dismissal in August following. 

The first year under the hospital system proved conclusively the wisdom of the 
arrangement. The total expense, including rent, furniture, pay of employh, and two 
hundred and seventy-one dollars paid outside for care of a small-pox patient, being 
only, three thousand six hundred and nine dollars, six cents, which compared with the 
expenses of preceding years showed a very substantial retrenchment. No charge on 
account of medical attendance appears against the county during this year, and, on 
August 14th, a letter from Doctor Newcomb tendering his services in the medical 
department of the hospital gratuitously for one year was filed. The following year 
Doctor Van Wyck ^yas. Hospital Physician at fifty dollars per month, and Orrin 
Hamlin, Steward. In May, 1867, Doctor Pinkerton succeeded Dr. Van Wyck and 
continued in office to the end of the County Hospital period, December 12, 1868. 
Thus after a struggle of eleven years with this question the solution was finally 
reached and henceforward there were to be only temporary obstacles to ever come in 
the pathway — the way itself was clearly defined. 

On April 18, i860, the Legislature enacted a law to establish County Infirmaries 
and amendatory of an Act to provide for the Indigent Sick, etc., approved in 1855. 
Under the provisions of this Statute the Supervisors of every county in the State, 
with the exception of seventeen, which are designated by name in section twenty-six, 
are authorized to establish County Infirmaries whenever in their opinion such a 
measure will be advantageous; to purchase one hundred and sixty acres of land, or 
less, and erect thereon suitable buildings, the expense to be defrayed by a tax levy 
not to exceed one-quarter of one per cent. They were also to act as a Board of 
Directors and in general to exercise a supervisory care over this as over other county 
interests. Under the provisions of this Act it was decided, in December, 1868, to 
establish a County Infirmary. The matter had evidently been unofficially canvassed 
previous to this time, as the proposition of C. Puff to sell fifty acres of land in 
Eden Township to the county for this purpose was accepted, and a committee ap- 
pointed to enter into a contract with him for purchase of the said tract. A County 
Infirmary tax of fifteen cents on each one hundred dollars' worth of property was 
levied, and in May, 1869, proposals were invited for erecting a suitable building thirty- 
six by fifty-six feet in dimensions, the cost not to exceed three thousand dollars. In 

216 History of Alameda County, California. 

the meantime the committee had closed the contract for the land with Mr. Purl, m 
the month of June following the contract was let to Messrs. Taylor & Goodrich at 
two thousand nine hundred and twenty-five dollars; work was commenced at once, 
and on July 7th the contractors were allowed their first two payments, nmeteen 
hundred and fifty dollars and six hundred and ninety-one dollars and forty cents, on 
account of extra work; on August 5th they were allowed one thousand three hundred 
and seventy-five dollars and fifty-six cents, and Robert Dalziel was granted four 
hundred and seventy-one dollars for work which, with a subsequent allowance of 

sixty-five dollars for painting, brought the cost of the building up to $4)552 96 

To which add cost of land, 123^^^ acr^s of C. Puff 1,632 46 

F. D. Atherton 3,786 60 

$9,972 02 
The new Infirmary was occupied about August 15, 1870, this being the date from 
which Doctor Coleman, the first attending physician, was paid. There is no record of 
the Board of Directors beyond that contained in the minutes of the Board of Super- 
visors prior to October 3, 1870, at which date a meeting was called, officers elected, 
and minutes taken. This was continued up to May 4, 1874, three and two-thirds 
years. .The report of the Hospital Committee for the year ending December 31, 1874, 
is as follows: — 

Number in hospital, January 1 1, 1874 .' 36 

Number admitted during the year igi 

Total 227 

Number discharged during the year 162 

Number of deaths during the year 22 

Total 184 

Number of inmates on December 31, 1874 43 

Yearly expense for salaries, supplies, coffins, etc., $13,274.52 

Relief granted to persons outside of Infirmary 2,842.49 

Total amount of warrants drawn ' $16,117.01 

Average daily expense per patient during yeai 51 

Cash accrued during the year 225. 35 

Cash accrued during the year expended 167.85 

Balance on hand, December 31, 1874 .' f 'iy Ho 

On April 12, 1875, the Board of Supervisors ordered the erection of four new 
wards, at a cost not to exceed one thousand dollars, this expense becoming necessary 
on account of the want felt for increased accommodation. These were reported com- 
pleted on June 14th, at a cost of eight hundred and eleven dollars and thirty-three 
cents, but even this extra room proved insufficient, as on May 15, 1876, the Infirmary 
was reported full, therefore it was thought advisable to make some lasting addition 
to the building. At the session of the Board on July 6th, the Hospital Committee 
were instructed to have plans and specifications drawn out for the increase in size of 
the building, which were duly submitted to the Board, who, August 17th, directed them 
to advertise for bids for building additions in accordance with submitted plans and 
specifications on file. September nth four bids, ranging from five thousand two 
hundred and sixty to five thousand dollars were offered, and all rejected, while the 

y -•' 



Political History of the County. 217 

plans were returned to the committee for alteration in consonance with the wishes of 
the Supervisors, who desired to expend a sum not exceeding three thousand dollars. 
The plans were again submitted on the 2Sth of the same month, and bids, etc., once 
more called for. On the loth of October ten offers were opened, at sums ranging 
from five thousand one hundred and fifty to three thousand two hundred and fifty- 
five dollars, at which latter figure the contract was awarded to J. W. Watson. The 
building was reported completed, accepted by the Board of Supervisors, warrants 
ordered to be issued to the contractor for the sum contracted for, and one hundred 
and ten dollars to J. J. Newsom for services as architect, on December ii, 1876. On 
November 26, 1877, the Hospital Committee submitted to the Supervisors for their 
consideration and approval, a set of new rules and regulations intended for the guid- 
ance of physicians, superintendent, steward, cook, nurses, and other employes, as well as' 
patients, which were adopted, ordered printed in pamphlet form, with County Infirm- 
ary Law, and also on cards, to be placed in the several wards of the hospital. 

On December 17, 1877, a resolution was adopted appointing a committee to 
inquire into the necessity of purchasing twenty-five or fifty acres of land, convenient 
to the city of Oakland, suitable for a poor-farm or alms-house, where the old, infirm, 
poor and homeless, and orphans, could be sent, at the same time making it a self-sustain- 
ing institution, similar to those in the Eastern States, while the District Attorney was 
requested to draft a bill for presentation to th: Legislature so that such an establish- 
ment should be placed on a sure foundation. The matter, it would appear, did not 
find favor in certain quarters, however, for on March 4th, following, appears on the 
records a resolution protesting against the passage of a bill " to establish a County 
Hospital in the city of Oakland"; the Board, however, claimed ample power, under 
existing laws, to provide for the dependent poor and sick of the county, and believed 
that the division of the Infirmary Fund would be impolitic. 

On December 27, 1 877, a corporation named the Oakland Homeopathic Hospital 
and Dispensing Association, founded by the ladies of the county, petitioned the Board 
of Supervisors for the use of two rooms in the city of Oakland wherein to establish 
their institution and afford free medical aid to the poor. The petition was denied at 
the time, but afterwards, on February 11, 1878, an allowance of forty dollars per 
month was voted, under the understanding that the Supervisors should have the priv- 
ilege of sending patients t?) their establishment. In March, 1878, a resolution was 
introduced to farm out the care of the county poor, the contractor to furnish medical 
attendance, medicine, all necessary help, provisions, and supplies, and to have the use 
of the Infirmary buildings, grounds, furniture, etc. In accordance with the above, 
bids were advertised for during the month of April. In due time they were received 
and found to range from sixty- four to forty-five cents a diZ-y per capita, but nothing 
was done permanently until May 17th, when it was decided to reject all bids and 
continue the institution under its present management. In July, 1878, it was resolved 
to select a site in Oakland Township for the Infirmary, the District Attorney being 
requested to decide the question as to the right of the Board of Supervisors to dis- 
pose of the present Infirmary grounds and remove the establishment. The decision 
of that officer was favorable to the scheme, on which the Hospital Committee selected 
a building site in Friiit Vale — but there the matter would appear to rest. In the follow- 

218 History of Alameda County, California. 

ing November the hospital steward presented a plan for an addition to the Infirmary, 
which was referred to a committee and adopted. Plans and specifications were, under 
proper directions, advertised for. On presentation these were referred to a Committee 
of the Whole, a motion to refer to the Hospital Committee having been lost. The 
plans of S. & J. C. Newsom were duly adopted, and bids for building the same were 
ordered to be placed in public competition. Ten contractors responded to the call 
with bids ranging from six thousand five hundred to four thousand nine hundred and 
fifty-six dollars, at which latter figure Messrs. Ingerson & Henderson were awarded 
the contract on January 13, 1879. This addition was reported finished March 24th, 
and the Board, after visiting and examining, "pronounced it good," and recorded, March 
31, 1879, their formal acceptance of the work. 

We now append the last report of that institution : — 

The Alameda County Hospital was located in Oakland August 16, 1864. From 
that date to 1869, a period of five years, there were 356 patients admitted for treat- 
ment; 200 were discharged cured, 91 improved or left voluntarily, and 54 died. 

In 1868 the Board of Supervisors purchased 123^ acres of land near the foot- 
hills, two and a half miles from San Leandro and ten and a half miles (not fourteen 
or sixteen miles, as often stated) from Oakland, for an Infirmary, paying therefor 
$5)535- In 1869 a building was erected and the hospital closed in Oakland and the 
Infirmary established at its present location. 

Other buildings were erected in the years 1875, 1877, 1879, and 1882. At 
present there is room for nearly 200 patients. 

From the establishment of the hospital in Oakland, August 16, 1864, to Decem- 
ber 31, 1882, there have been 3,778 admissions, of whom 466 have died and 3,197 
have deen discharged, cured, improved, or leaving voluntarily, except a few each year 
sent away for disobedience. 

The following report of the Infirmary for the year ending December 31, 1882, 
was presented to the Board of Supervisors: — 

To THE Honorable the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, 
California — Gentlemen: I have the honor to present the following report of the 
Infirmary for the year ending December 31, 1882. 

Respectfully, J. F. BURDICK, Sec'y. 

Patients present January I, 1882 103 

Patients admitted 365 

Total present 468 

Patients discharged 315 

Patients died 38 

Total deduction ... 353 

Patients present December 31 115 

Average number present during year 113 

Of those admitted 99 have been former inmates of the Infirmary, and 266 were 
admitted for the first time. 

Of those discharged, 225 were cured, 81 were improved, 5 left voluntarily, not 
improved, and 4 were discharged for disobedience. 

Political History of the County. 219 


Present January ist — Males 397, females 71; natives of United States, 182; 
foreigners, 286; white, 457; black, 5; Indians, 6. 

Deaths — Males 35, females 3; natives of United States, 15; foreigners, 23; white, 
35; black, i; Indians, 2. 

Discharged — Males 265, females 50; natives of United States, 121; foreigners, 
194; white, 310; black, 3; Indians, 2. 

Remaining Decdhiber 31st — Males 97, females 18; natives of United States, 46; 
foreigners, 69; white, 112; Black, i- Indians, 2. 

The- follpp^^g shows the number admitted, readmitted, discharged, died, and the 
average number of patients present, by months, during the year: — 

Total number admitted in January, 27; February, 38; March, 35; April, 38; May, 
32; June, 30; July, 31; August, 28; September, 21; October, 29; November, 28; Decem- 
ber, 28. Total, 365. 

Discharged in January, 22; February, 19; March, 38; April, 35; May, 33; June, 
35; July, 26; August, 25; September, 26; October, 20; November, 17; December, 19. 
Total, 315. 

Died in January, 4; February, 3; March, 2; April, i; May, 5; June, 7; July, 5; 
August, I ; September, 3 ; October, 2 ; November, 2 ; December, 3. Total, 38. 

Average number in January, 105; February, 118; March, 120; April, 123; May, 
121 ; June, 113; July, loi ; August, loi ; September, 99; October, 105 ; November, 109; 
December, 115. 

Patients were received from the different townships as follows: From Alameda, 
7; Brooklyn, 17; Eden, 35; Murray, 41 ; Oakland, 242; Washington, 21 ; born in hos- 
pital, 2. Total, 365. 

Also from the Supervisors as follows: From Messrs. Brown, 11 ; -Clement, 26; 
Dusterberry, 15; Green, 33; Hanifin, 91 ; Marlin, 44; Myers, 104; McClane, 26;.Judge 
Green, i ; Dr. DuBois, 5; admitted by the Superintendent, 7; births, 2. Total, 365. 


Under twenty years, 30 ; from twenty to thirty, 79 ; thirty to forty, 86 ; forty to 
fifty, 98; fifty to sixty, 86; sixty to seventy, 56; seventy to eighty, 19; eighty to 
ninety, 13; above ninety, i. Total, 468. 


Under twenty years, i ; from twenty to thirty years, 5 ; thirty to forty, 3 ; forty to 
fifty, 9; fifty to sixty, 8; sixty to seventy, 6; seventy to eighty, 2; eighty to ninety, 3; 
above ninety, i. Total, 38. 

Cause of death : Abscess of brain, i ; cancer of face, 2 ; heart disease, 5 ; inflam- 
mation of lungs, I ; paralysi.s, 3 ; chronic alcholism, 2 ; consumption, 19; gunshot wound, 
I ; old age, 4. Total, 38. 


Salaries officers and employes % 4i78d oo 

Fuel 864 s6 

Medicines , 461 65 

Meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables 4i 728 51 

Contract supplies, dry goods, and groceries S'7o5 ^9 

Repairs and improvements 2,857 16 

AH other supplies, incidentals, etc 486 86 

Total expenses $19)^^4 43 

220 History of Alameda County, California. 

Average daily expense per patient, for all expenditures, exclusive of repairs and 
.improvements, 4-1)4 cents. 

During the year there has accrued from various sales, cash left by deceased 
patients, and for board of pay patients, $535.25. 

There has been expended for fares, and cash paid discharged patients, and for 
various incidentals, $482.80, leaving a balance of cash on hand, $56.45. 

The amount paid for salaries during 1882 is less than that paid in any year since 
1873, when there were only thirty-five patients present daily; it being $500 less than 
that paid in 1874, when there were only thirty-nine patients daily, and nearly $1,600 
less than paid in 1877, when the daily attendance was only sixty-five patients. 

The following shows the expense incurred during each of the past five years: In 

1878, for repairs and improvements, $440.52 for all other expenses, $20,954.15; in 

1879, for repairs and improvements, $8,250; for all other expenses, $20,424; in 1880, 
for repairs and improvements, $945.58; for all other expenses, $17,357.92; in'i88i, for 
repairs and improvements, $1,782.37; for all other expenses, $17,048.18; in 1882, for 
repairs and improvements, $2,857.16; -for all other expenses, $17,027.27. From the 
above it will be seen that the total expenditures, exclusive of repairs and improve- 
ments, have decreased each year, being $3,900 less during 1882 than in 1878. 

While the total number of days' board for patients during 1878 was 32,120, the 
total number of days' board for patients during the past year was 40,515, an increase 
of 8,400 days, or the equivalent of 25 years for one person. 

It would appear as if there were a fatality attending the office of County Treas- 
urer, human nature being, it seems, too weak^o be trusted with monetary responsibility. 
In nearly every county of the State the unfortunate charge of malfeasance in the 
office has occurred, and still more sad is the fact that it still occasionally happens. 
Though temptation surround us, so much the more resolute should we be in meeting 
it: it is a timid heart and a weak mind that cannot work for the honor and glory o 
the public weal without descending to the debasing and treacherous act of pecula- 
tion. On August 17, 1859, the Finance Committee reported a deficiency of six 
thousand five hundred and eleven dollars and ninety-nine cents in the County Treas- 
ury. The Board of Supervisors at once directed the District Attorney to bring suit 
against C. C. Breyfogle as Treasurer of the county of Alameda, and his bondsmen. 
On the next day that officer's resignation was tendered and accepted, and the position 
offered to Joseph S. Watkins, but this gentleman declining, James Scott was 
appointed. On the assembling of the new Board of Supervisors, their first duty was 
to order the pressing of the suit against Breyfogle and his sureties for " eight thous- 
and dollars and more." The end of the affair was that the county was no loser as 
the security was sufficient and the sum missing was made good, all of which was so 
reported by the Finance Committee on August 13, 186 1. 

On November 7, 1859, the new Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, con- 
sisting of J. W. Dougherty, of Murray Township; M. Fallon, Oakland Township; 
James Shinn, Washington Township; A. A. Anderson, Eden Township; S. M. Davis 
Brooklyn Township, met, the first-named gentleman being chosen Chairman. On the 
nth of November, they recommended the passage of a law granting the County 
Treasurer from three to five per cent, on all sums less than fifty thousand dollars 
disbursed by the treasury. 

Political History of the County. 221 

During the session of the Legislature in this year (1859), the bridge question 
again cropped up although it was thought to have been finally settled two years pre- 
viously. In this year an attempt was made by the owners to pass an act confirming 
the original contract as granted by the Court of Sessions, as it was contemplated to 
construct a new one in its place. The Legislature, however, refused the legislation 
desired, and the question remained in statu quo. 

As a matter of curiosity, we now produce some of the assessments, showing in 
whose coffers lay the wealth of the county: — 


J. J. Vallejo $190,050 G. W. Patterson $ 17,320 

William Castro 148,000 Mrs. A. C. Colombet. 17,000 

Estudillo Family 120,359 Thomas G. Carey 15,400 

Hathaway, Brady & Crabb 60,800 H. N. Carpenter. . .' 15,000 

Soto Family 60,392 Benjamin HoUaday I5,0c0 

J. B. Larue 56,145 C. J. Stevens 14,725 

Ygnacio Peralta 54,ioo A.Lewelling I3j70o 

A. Alviso 45,900 California Steam Navigation Company l3i5oo 

S. B. Martin 43,250 Z. Hughes 13,450 

H. G. Ellsworth. . 38,975 Richard Threlfall 12,450 

J. W. Dougherty 31,800 "William Glaskin 12,000 

F. Higuerra 28,950 Coffee & Risdon 12,000 

Livermore Estate 28,300 H. I. Irving 11,675 

Contra Costa Steam Navi8;ation Company . . 28,000 Wm. H. Souther 1 1,500 

Edward Minturn 27,200 E. S. Eigenbrodt 1 1,450 

Robert Simpson 26,750 Mulford cS: Co 11,425 

E. L. Beard 26,285 William H. Maddox 11.250 

A. M. Peralta 25,S5o,.. Cull & Luce 11,040 

Clemente Colombet 25,100 R. B. Donovan 10,950 

A. B. Fabes 23,000 Jesse Beard 10,621; 

Antonio Sunol 21,400 J. Lewelling 10,385 

W". M. Lubbock 20,000 A. L. Pioche 10,300 

Earl Marshall 18,000 Domingo Peralta 10,000 

i86o.^Early in the year 1859 the Alameda County Agricultural Society was 
organized and fully placed in working order. On February 7, i860, we find them 
applying ta the Supervisors for the five hundred dollars appropriation authorized by 
the Legislature, but this sum the Board pleaded its absolute inability to pay, owing 
to " the present depressed ' state of the finances " of the county, although it was per- 
fectly willing to hear and act upon the petition. The amount of five hundred dollars 
was, however, paid on the 27th of the same month, and another like sum, appar- 
ently, on August 3, 1 86 1. On June 15, i860, two Commissioners were appointed to 
investigate the matter of county licenses, these gentlemen each to receive twenty 
dollars per month for their services. The office was abolished on the 8th of August, 

The new Board of Supervisors met on December 10, i860, the members being 

F. K. Shattuck, Oakland Township; A. W. Swett, Brooklyn Township; John Lew- 
elling, Eden Township; C. S. Eigenbrodt, Washington Township; Michael Murray, 
Murray Township; from whom Mr. Lewelling was chosen Chairman, but their 
operations, though of much profit to the county for the balance of the year, are of 
not much profit to the historian. 

We are not a partisan in politics, but the year i860 is one the memory of which 

222 History of Alameda County, California. 

should not die. In it the Republican party, which came into existence in 1856, 
ousted the Democrats from their position, which they had held for more than 
three decades. The Republicans became dominant throughout the country, the 
State, and the county, and the first martyed President, Abraham^ Lincoln, was called 
to the highest position in the gift of the people. 

1 86 1 — The initial record for the year 1861 demonstrates the idea that the Board 
of Supervisors had not found the bills presented by Justices of the Peace and Con- 
stables always in order — indeed, that they usually bore on, their faces -the brand of 
extravagance. To remedy this they passed an order, on February 4th, introducing a 
system of "red-tape," whereby the accounts of these officers should all be certified 
to ere presentation. At this meeting Supervisor Eigenbrodt, of Washington Town- 
ship, spoke of the desirability of constructing a good, durable road through the county 
that can be traveled at all seasons of the year, on which the Board resolved to orig- 
inate and present a plan. On February Sth two hundred and seventy-five dollars 
were paid, for engraving and printing county bonds on account of the bar at the 
mouth of San Antonio Creek, to Benjamin F. Butler. Not long after this gentleman 
became famous, and is, we are informed, the now renowned Ben. Butler, the lawyer- 
general-Governor of Massachusetts. The county, on the same date, purchased from 
J. W. Carrick, at a sum of three hundred and seventy-five dollars, a safe for the 
Treasurer's office, that in which the public funds had been hitherto placed being 
provided by that official himself at his private expense. In the minutes of Febru- 
ary 1 2th we find that the Board had knowledge of a petition having been presented 
to the Legislature whereby Washington Township should be given back to Santa 
Clara County, but the Representative in the Legislature was instructed that such a 
proceeding would be unwise, and the matter finally dropped. May Sth J. O. Miner 
and Joseph Chadbourne, having petitioned that the span in the Oakland Bridge 
(Twelfth Street Bridge) be widened, at their own expense, so that they could be able 
to ship bricks through it, a committee was appointed to investigate and report, the 
prayer of the petition being finally granted. 

In the year 1861 there were no less than three parties in the field, namely, the 
Republicans, Democrats, and Union Democrats, the first being successful in all parts 
of the State. For the distinguished office of State Senator, A. M. Crane, Repub- 
lican, received twelve hundred and seventy-four votes; H. Linden, Democrat, two 
hundred and eighty-eight; and N. Hamilton, Union Democrat, six hundred and 
sixteen votes, while there were no less than six candidates in the field for the office 
of Member of Assembly, the successful competitors being the two Republicans, S. B. 
Bell and J. M. Moore. The Supervisors elected were: Charles S. Eigenbrodt, Wash- 
ington Township; William Meek, Eden Township; Michael Murray, Murray Town- 
ship; H. Robinson, Brooklyn and Alameda Townships ; F. K. Shattuck, Oakland 
Township, the last-named gentleman being chosen Chairman. Having adopted rules 
of procedure, as well as the committees of their predecessors, they commenced their 
labors on November 4, 1861. 

It can never be forgotten that during this year (1861) the great Civil war burst 
upon the country carrying with it all its accompanying heart-burnings, havoc, and 

Political History of the County. 223 

desolation. Though the scene of actual warfare lay thousands of miles away, our own 
California was not without its sympathizers. Military companies sprang up on every 
' side determined to maintain the integrity of the Central Government, and Alameda 
County, was not behindhand in practically asserting her. loyalty. On August 31, 1861, 
the Oakland Hfonvs Guard was organized and properly officered by gentlemen whose 
names will be found elsewhere, while, on November 4th, it is of record that they were 
allowed a monthly apportionment of twenty dollars, which, January i, 1862, was raised 
to fifty dollars per mensem, wherewith to provide an armory. Of the further doings 
of the Oakland Home Guard and other corps we speak in our chapters of Township 
Histories; but we may here record, while on this subject, that, February 18, 1862, 
the Board of Supervisors passed the following preamble and resolutions, which were 
carried nem con: — - 

"Whereas, The news of the success of our arms at Fort Donelson (captured February i6, 1862) and else- 
where inspires us with feelings of joy and gratitude and lively hopes of a speedy restoration of the Federal Union 
and the supremacy of the Constitution ; therefore, 

"Resolved, That this Board do now adjourn for ten minutes for the purpose of raising the glorious old flag of 
the Union and saluting it with three cheers and a tiger.'' 

The record then follows with these words: "All of which being done with a 
will and with the proud emblem of our Country's Liberty floating at the mast-head 
the Board resumes the tame business of consideration of accounts." The probable 
author of the foregoing. Supervisor Eigenbrodt, afterwards sealed his patriotism with 
his life as an officer of the California Hundred. 

In this year crime was rife throughout the county, and especially in Murray 
Township, it frequently occurring that first-class misdemeanants escaped from out of the 
reach of the law. The Sheriff was at too great a distance to effectively interfere, he 
therefore appointed James S. Kapp his Deputy for that district — the initial step 
towards suppressing lawlessness in that out-of-the-way section of Alameda County. 

In 1 861, the county had to deplore the loss by death of Hon. A. L. Rhodes of 
San Jose, the Joint Senator representing Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, a 
gentleman much respected by all, and of high literary attainments. We may now 
close the record of 1861 by mentioning that notwithstanding the Republican Ticket 
having carried all before it at the general election, the Democracy held sway at the 
Charter election for the officers of the city of Oakland. 

1862. — This year opened with a series of devastating floods throughout the 
county, remarks on which will be found elsewhere ih this work. The first matter of 
interest to be noticed in this place as performed by the Board of Supervisors was the 
appointment of a committee to ascertain the probable cost of a perfect and accurate 
map of the county, which it is presumed was supplied, for later we find a copy of one 
in the Recorder's office mentioned. On May s, 1862, we find that the county printing 
was given to the Gazette at twenty-five dollars per quarter. It would appear that 
the Grand Jury found, in this year, the Court House, jail, and other county build- 
ings in a state of disrepair, on which some condemnatory remarks were passed, other- 
wise, the affairs of the county were in a very flourishing condition, while the manner 
in which the different offices were conducted, and the integrity of the officials in 

224 History of Alameda County, California. 

charge were highly commended. The periodicals of the day hand down to posterity 
the following rather absurd blunder on the part of the then Senator from Alameda. 
It would appear that the copies of a bill which he introduced in the Legislature con- 
cerning roads in the county, in its sixth section read: "The Board of Supervisors shall 
not open or establish any road or highway through the ornamental grounds of any 
dwelling-house of over three years' growth, etc." The relator goes on to state that 
Mr. Oulton of San Francisco, rose in amendment, and with much gravity moved to 
insert after the word "through,'' this clause: "The number of years which the house 
has been growing shall be determined by the rings of the chimney,'' this gentleman 
evidently drawing his inspiration from a rather recent visit to the Calaveras and 
Mariposa Big Trees. On April 24th of this year, in defiance of the determined 
opposition of Senator Crane, the bill providing for the payment of the Oilman debt to 
Contra Costa by Alameda County was carried by a large vote. The Board of Super- 
visors at their May term directed the levy of fifteen cents on each ohe hundred dollars' 
worth of property, as a war tax, as well as a per capita tax of two dollars on each male 
inhabitant between the ages of twenty-one and sixty years. 

June 14, 1862, a Union County Convention was held at San Leandro when 
delegates to the State Convention to be held in Sacramento on the 17th were selected 
as follows: A. M. Church, A. M. Crane, W. W. Crane, Jr., A. J. Kelly, William 
Kennedy, S. W. Levy, William Meek, J. M. Moore, F. K. Shattuck. The presiding 
officer at the State Convention was Walter Van Dyke, of Humboldt, but subsequently, 
for many years, an honored resident of Alameda. For the purpose of nominating 
candidates for the Assembly, a second Union Convention was held at San Leandro 
on August 13th, when there were present over fifty delegates, who were about equally 
divided between Democrats and Republicans. On the occasion resolutions of un- 
swerving loyalty were passed, and some opposition to the candidature of Milton S. 
Latham for United States Senator expressed. Henry Robinson of Alameda, Repub- 
lican, and Thomas Scott of Washington, Democrat, were the choice for the Assembly 
of the Convention. The election in the month of September proved the wisdom of 
this selection, as the accompanying votes will explain: For Assembly, Robinson, 
(Union) nine hundred and fourteen votes; Scott, eight hundred and thirty-four; John- 
son, (Union Democrat) seven hundred and seventy-seven; Fallon, six hundred and 
forty. It may be mentioned, and it is generally conceded, that the creation of the 
Union Democratic party is due to Alfred A. Cohen, an eminent lawyer of San Fran- 
cisco and a wealthy resident of Alameda. 

On November 3, 1862, the new Board of Supervisors consisting of F. K. Shat- 
tuck, of Oakland Township; William Meek, of Eden Township; S. M. Davis^ of 
Brooklyn and Alameda Townships; H. Overacker, of Washington Township ; and J. 
West Martin, of Murray Township, took their seats, elected Mr. Shattuck Chairman, 
and adopted the rules of procedure of the year 1859. In this month an election 
for District Judge of the Third Judicial District was held, with a majority for 
Samuel Bell McKee of seventy-six votes, as will be gleaned from the following 

figures : — 

S. B. McKee. T. a. Brown. 

Monterey 349 Santa Clara 420 

Santa Cruz 199 Contra Costa 385 — 805 

Alameda 333— 881 

Jj ??S-s-> 

Political History of the County. 225 

1863. — The political aspect of the country remained unchanged, for the dreadful 
civil war was yet raging ; in our own county, however, demonstrations were not want- 
ing to intensify the patriotism of the people, while it is rendered famous in the history 
of the county as that in which the question of subsidy to railroads was tested in the 
instance of the Alameda Valley Railroad, and in that of the world as the year in 
which the first sod was cut for the great Central Pacific Railroad. In this year too 
the functions of the time-honored Court of Sessions were ended, and their mantle 
descended upon the shoulders of the Board of Supervisors. 

On January 2d, intelligence was received from San Francisco of the death 
of Judge Lent, of the Alameda County Court, after a long and painful illness. His 
place was soon filled by Governor Stanford, who appointed Major Noble Hamilton to 
the office, Asa Walker and George Fleming being chosen Associate Justices by Mr. 
Hamilton. Owing to another of the county's officials being called upon to cross.the 
dark river, we find recorded under date April 6, 1863, the follow:ing resolutions, tn 
■memoriam : — 

"Whereas, Since the last meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the county of Alameda, Samuel M. 
Davis, one of the members of this Board, has departed this life, and the other members of the Board being desir- 
ous of manifesting their respect for his memory; therefore, 

" Resolved, That in Samuel M. Davis we have always found, in the discharge of his duties as a. member of 
this Board, uprightness of purpose and a strong solicitude to follow the path of right. In our social intercourse 
we found him the warm and generous friend, with affable disposition and deportment; we therefore sincerely 
deplore his loss. 

"Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this Board in token of respect to his 

On January 10, 1863, articles of incorporation of the Alameda Valley Railroad 
were filed in the office of the Secretary of State, the length of the line being twenty- 
two miles, and its terminus at Niles, the estimated cost of which was seven hundred 
and fifty thousfind dollars, shares being put at one hundred dollars each, with ten 
per cent, paid down. The first Board of Directors were: B. C. Horn, President; 
Timothy Dame (President of the San Josd Road), Treasurer; George E." Potter, Sec- 
retary; and William Hayward, J. A. Mayhew, J. B. Felton, E. M. Derby. The Board 
of Supervisors being authorized by the Legislature, the direct result of a bill intro- 
duced by Senator Crane, approved April 21, 1863,^0 subscribe for Alameda County 
two hundred and twenty thousand dollars' worth of stock in the enterprise, should the 
sanction of the people be obtained, a special election was held June 2, 1863, when 
the proposition was declared lost, as under: — 

Precinct. Whole No. Votes. Yes. No. 

Oakland 419 389 30 

Temescal So 49 i 

Ocean View S^ S ' 

Brooklyn 258 103 155 

Half-way House 65 5 60 

San Leandro 90 12 78 

Haywards 117 49 68 

San Lorenzo 66 6 60 

Mount Eden 45 11 34 

Alvarado 132 16 Ii6 

Mission San Jos6 152 26 126 

Centreville , 198 24 174 

Hart's (Murray) 57 $6 i 

Dougherty's Station 62 4 58 

Alameda 49 28 21 

l8i2 829 982 

22() History of Alameda County, California. 

Giving a majority against the proposition of one hundred and fifty-three votes. In 
this year J. B. Larue, A. W. Swett, and William Hayward obtained a franchise in San 
Francisco for constructing a wharf for the accommodation of the ferry line of steam- 
ers plying between Oakland -and San Francisco. They grounded their petition on 
-4:he4jlea that, the line had been in operation since 1858, and that it had become a neces- 
sity to the public. About this time Senator Porter of Contra Costa had the claim 
against Alameda County submitted to a committe of the Senate hoping to compel its 
payment, but they reported against it; suit was thereupon instituted and, August 8th, 
O. L. Shafter was paid by the Board of Supervisors the sum of five hundred dollars 
to defend the case. On August i8th we find that the Board of Supervisors deter- 
mined to lay a side-walk on either side of the road between Alvarado and Centreville 
and make provision for shading the same with trees; but although the first part of the 
proposition was carried out, the matter of planting trees was revoked March 7, 1864- 

On June 13th a Union Party Convention assembled at San Leandro under the 
presidency of Asa Walker, with F. M. Campbell, Secretary, when the following dele- 
gates to the Union State Convention at Sacramento were appointed: Alameda Town- 
ship, Henry Robinson; Brooklyn Township, A. W. Swett; Eden Township, William 
Meek; Murray Township, (no delegate); Oakland Township, John McMann; Wash- 
ington Township, H. Overacker. The Democratic County Convention was held at 
the same place on the 27th of June,.and among those who took a part in its affairs 
was ex-Governor Weller, who, in 1 863, was a resident of Fruit Vale, while on August 
1st the Union County Convention' met for the purpose of nominating the county 
ticket, which at the election was triumphant in every instance. At this election the 
vote in Alameda County for Governor was. Low (Union), one thousand three hundred 
and ninety-two; and Downey (Democrat), eight hundred and five. In regard to the 
Judicial election held October 21st, Judge McKee defeated Judge Brown of Contra 
Costa, who had received the Union Nomination, by three hundred and thirty-three 

In September of this year a mandamus was issued by Judge Reynolds, of Contra 
Costa, with the purpose of compelling the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County 
to levy a tax to pay the Contra Costa judgment, but on application to the Supreme 
Court a stay gf proceedings was granted. On the 14th of the same month panels of 
grand and trial jurors were apportioned in the following manner: Alameda Township, 
three; Brooklyn Township, nine; Eden Township, eleven; Murray Township, six; Oak- 
land Township, seventeen; Washington Township, fourteen. 

During the year 1 863 the Legislature passed an Act providing for the election of 
two additional Supervisors for the county, and that the townships of Brooklyn and 
.Alameda have'power to elect one Supervisor for each township; therefore, on October 
5 th, when the new Board met it was composed of A. Cummings, of Alameda Town- 
ship; Robert S. Farrelly, of Brooklyn Township; William Meek, of Eden Township; 
John Green, of Murray Township; F. K. Shattuck, of Oakland Township; and H. 
Overacker, of Washington Township; Mr. Shattuck being again chosen Chairman, 

On November 2, 1863, plans and specifications for a bridge across the San 
Leandro Creek at the town of that name were adopted, and sealed proposals for build- 
ing the same were desired to be called for, the work being eventually let to Dole & 

Political History of the County. 227 

Brother, at the contract figure of two thousand five hundred dollars. November 3d, 
the Alvarado Guards asked for an apportionment for rent of armory and were allowed 
fifty dollars per month from that date, while, December 7th, the last record of the 
year. District Attorney W. W. ' Crane . resigned' his position and .was ^replaced by 

George M. Blake. ' - r ,..r i-- - . 

1864. — The Grand Jury which met in January of this year having declared the 
county jail to be a public nuisance, the Board of Supervisors must have taken the 
matter to heart to some extent, for we find them, on February 2d, appealing to the 
Representatives in the Legislature to have a bill passed as soon as possible, authoriz- 
ing the levy of a special tax for the erection of a county jail and making urgently- 
required repairs to the Court House. In the meantime a watchman was placed in 
charge "until the parties at present confined therein for grand larceny be discharged;" 
while on the 23d of the same month a committee was appointed to make a thorough 
investigation into the condition of the premises, who it would appear reported that its 
state was far from satisfactory, and that additional accommodation was imperatively 
necessary. To this end a contract was entered into with Messrs Kittredge & Leavitt 
for the construction of an iron cell to cost sixteen hundred dollars, a work that was at 
once proceeded with, reported complete, and paid for, September 5, 1864. On 
May 23d a proposition to make the jail of the city of Oakland a branch of that of the 
county for the confinement of persons where the city was liable ' for the exipenses of 
keeping, was received and referred to the District Attorney. At the previous meet- 
ing of the Board, a committee was appointed to report upon the advisability of build- 
ing a board fence around the Court House Square, a proceeding they considered 
unwise. However this does not appear to have been the opinion of the majority of the 
Supervisors, for they adopted a plan presented by E. H. Goff, and specifications there- 
fore were received, and proposals to build advertised for; and on the 1 5th August, 
another committee was appointed to superintend the construction of a high fence to 
inclose the jail, repair the well, etc., at a cost not to exceed five hundred dollars, a 
labor that was apparently performed, as, on the 19th October, a charge of four hun- 
dred and seventy-five dollars for such work appears on the minutes. 

During the month of January J. B. Larue, at a meeting of the Board of Super- 
visors, presented a scheme for their approval having as its object the improvement of 
the navigation of the San Antonio Creek, provided he were allowed a franchise and 
permitted to levy a toll. Frequent attempts to effect this boon had been previously 
made but to no avail, while he deprecated the idea that the granting of such a privi- 
lege would have the appearance of the Supervisors' countenancing a monopoly, as 
there were already two ferry lines having communication between Oakland and Ala- 
meda and San Francisco, irrespective of that which used the creek. Mr. Larue made 
the proposal in the name of the Oakland and San Antonio Steam Navigation Com- 
pany, of which corporation he was the President. ' Further resolutions were introduced 
by him, February 2d, but the subject was left in abeyance for some time; the Super- 
visors, however, subsequently thought favorably of the plan, which was embodied in a 
bill that was, although passed by the Legislature, vetoed by the Governor. 

On February 18,1864, the Oakland News was given the publishing of the proceed- 

228 History of Alameda County, California. 

ings of the Board of Supervisors at the same rate as charged by the Alameda County 
Gazette. March 3d, Socrates Huff, the newly-elected County Treasurer, presented his 
receipt, showing that he had received from J. W. Carrick, the late incumbent of that 
office, the sum of ten thousand two hundred and twenty-one dollars and sixty-six 
C2nts, being the amount of funds on hand in the County Treasury; and on the 7th, 
twenty thousand dollars were distributed among the Road Districts of Alameda, 
Brooklyn, Eden, Murray, Oakland, and Washington. On the 3d of the same month 
occurs the first bid for national aid to improve the navigation of the San Antonio 
Creek, at which time resolutions, setting forth the immense advantages that would 
accrue to the county were such a scheme perfected, were passed and ordered to be 
sent to the Senator and Assemblymen of Alameda in the Legislature. 

Under the chairmanship of Dr. W. Newcomb, of Oakland, and S. S. Saul, Sec- 
retary, a Union County Convention was held at San Leandro on March 19th, at 
which time delegates were appointed to the State Convention to be held in Sacra- 
mento, who selected those to proceed to the National Union Convention to choose 
candidates for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States,- their 
unanimous sympathy, as the sequel showed, being with Abraham Lincoln. In contin- 
uation of this subject we may state that the Democratic County Convention met at 
the same place on the 7th of May for a similar purpose, with William S. Moss pre- 
siding, and Harry Linden, Secretary, when William S. Moss, P. E. Edmondson, W. 
H. Glascock, and Harry Linden, were appointed delegates to the State Convention. 
These political meetings culminated on the 29th October, when a very numerously 
attended and enthusiastic gathering of Union followers at San Leandro — the largest 
then that had been had in the county — met to do honor to their popular nominees. 
I. A. Amerman, President of the Lincoln and Johnson Club of San Leandro, 
officiated as Grand Marshal of the Day, with E. M. Smith, Lysander Stone, and E. 
C. Jacobs, as Aides-de-Camp. As the sun reached the meridian the strains of music 
from the south proclaimed the arrival of the contingent from that portion of the 
county, headed by a brass band. It included a delegation from Centreville, with 
Capt J. M. Moore as Marshal; another from Alvarado, with whom was the mihtary 
company in full uniform and accoutered, with Judge Williams as Marshal; while 
there came under the marshalship of Henry Smith, a strong body from San Lorenzo. 
This column presented a most imposing appearance when on the line of march, as 
it occupied the space of road between San Lorenzo and San Leandro, with its flag- 
bedecked wagons and gaily-caparisoned horses. The hour of noon had scarcely tolled 
ere the phalanx from the northern portion of the county came in sight with 

"Fife and "Steed, and trump and drum, and roaring culverin,'' 

This last being a mounted cannon, bearing the label, " The Peacemaker." This con- 
tingent was marshaled by F. K. Shattuck, of Oakland, accompanied by Gen. Irwin 
McDowell, the members of his staff, and the Oakland Guard. The Brooklyn dele- 
gation, with some men from San Francisco, marshaled by Hon. Thomas Eager, 
numbered a thousand men. The Alameda division was headed by Judge Hastings, 
and when moving stretched from Alameda Lane to San Leandro, a distance of four 
miles and a half, these two making a procession eight miles in length. This vast 
concourse passed in review order before General McDowell, who stood in his carriage. 

Political History of the County. 229 

with uncovered head, company by company, as they filed past, making the welkin 
ring with their loyal cheers. The Hon. Edward Tompkins was President of the 
Day, who made a most eloquent and soul-stirring speech, and was followed by Hons. 
Delos Lake, Nathan Porter, F. M. Pixley, J . G. McCallum, Attorney-General McCuUough, 
W. H. L. Barnes, and Judge Tyler, the Secretaries for the occasion being Messrs. Saul, 
Gagan, and Estabrook Smith. This demonstration was in every sense a most enthu- 
siastic one, as is now remembered with great gratification by those now alive who par- 
ticipated in it. 

At this time great dissatisfaction was felt at a -fee bill that had passed; the Legis- 
lature through the instrumentality of Assemblyman Scott, therefore it became neces- 
sary to pass a new Act, making the fees of the Sheriff the same as those established 
by the enactment of 1855, and repealing the clause relative to the fees of Justices of 
the Peace and Constables; while, about the same period, Andrew B. Forbes and his 
associates made application to the Legislature for the grant of a wharf franchise, to 
maintain and construct such a pier at Green Point, for the public convenience and the 
accommodation of steamers plying between San Francisco and Alviso. The South 
Pacific Coast Railroad have now built to that point from San J()s6, and in its 
vicinity has since sprung up the town of Newark. 

On May 2, 1864, Dole & Brother were paid the sum of two thousand dollars on 
account of the building of the bridge at San Leandro, while the time for finishing 
the same was extended to the ist of June. It was, however, completed and accepted 
by the county on May 23d, and the balance of two thousand four hundred and forty- 
five dollars due to them paid; while, it was ordered, August 8th, that a fine of fifteen 
dollars be imposed for rapid driving over it. On May 5th, the Auditing Committee 
on the accounts of the Auditor and Treasurer, from February i, 1862, to February i, 
1864, reported that they found these in a satisfactory state and correct; and on the 23d 
it was reported that a bridge over Alameda Creek, near the Bell Ranch, was impera- 
tively necessary. On the sarhe date plans and specifications for repairing and replank- 
ing the Oakland Bridge were ordered and bids for doing the same called for. This 
contract was let to A. W. Hawkett & Co., for nineteen hundred and ninety-five dol- 
lars, to be paid in county warrants on completion, which was duly done August 8, 
1864. The old lumber was thereafter sold, and the proceeds, seventy-seven dollars 
and fifty cents paid into the Treasury. 

As is too well remembered, party feeling ran very high at this period, and many 
were the disloyal statements made by the unthinking portion of the community. 
The county, however, never had itself so startled as it was when the intelligence was 
received from San Francisco that its District Attorney had been apprehended by a 
United States Marshal for using seditious language, and incarcerated on Alcatraz 
Island. The crime, however, proved to be less serious than was at first imagined, for, 
soon after, Gen. J. S. Chipman was released on taking the oath of allegiance. 

In June of this year the following excellent joke was perpetrated on Judge 
Church, the first County Clerk and Recorder of Alameda, and at present a very able 
and efificient Justice of the Peace of Oakland Township. It would appear that sev- 
eral gentlemen had determined to subscribe a monthly amount towards the Soldiers' 
Relief Fund, during the continuance of the war, and among those who subscribed ten 


History of Alameda CouNxt; California. 

dollars per month was our excellent friend. Upon the receipt of the contribution, 
the Committee of the Soldiers' Relief Fund published the acknowledgment in the 
Aita California — then, as now, a morning paper — of ten dollars from "A. M. Church, 
San Leandro," which appeared in the Bulletin of the same evening, transmogrified 
into the following: " African Methodist Church of San Leandro," thus taking a very 
strange, though innocent, liberty with Mr. Church's initials. 

On November 8, 1864, the Presidential election showed a majority in this county 
for Lincoln of six hundred and fifty-eight votes, while his plurality throughout the 
State,,w1|g;i:m'xt€;eH, ithousand six -Jiundredt-find; 1;hirty-four votes; and, for Congress, 
Higby rec6ived fourteen hundred and fifty-eight votes, as against seven hundred and 
ninety-seven for Coffroth. 

The new Board of Supervisors met December 5, 1864, as follows: F. K. Shat- 
tuck, Oakland Township; L. Fassking, Alameda Township; R. S. Farrelly, Brooklyn 
Township; William Meek, Eden Township; H. Overacker, Washington Township; 
John Green, Murray Township. Mr. Shattuck was chosen Chairman. Standing 
Committees on Auditing and Finance, Roads and Bridges, Judiciary and Hospital, 
were appointed, and Dr. E. Gibbons, L. Fassking, and F. K. Shattuck, elected man- 
agers of the County Hospital. It should be mentioned that during the year 1864 
was the first term that the Legislature sat under the biennial system inaugurated by 
the amended Constitution. 

1865. — Besides a general activity in railroad building, there was notJiing of great 
"polificabsignificarice'b'ccurred in Alameda. County, although, the assassination of Pres- 
ident Lincoln occupied much attention. The first item of note is the allowance, on 
February 11, 1865, of fifty dollars a month to the Hayward Guard for the purpose 
of providing an armory; while, August 21st, the like sum for the same object was 
granted to the Brooklyn Guard, another military organization. In this month the 
Supreme Court affirmed the judgment obtained by Contra Costa County against 
Alameda County, for the old Oakland (Twelfth Street) Bridge indebtedness, the 
amount being fifteen thousand dollars, and, on November 25th, under the Act 
approved April 26, 1862, the amount paid by Alameda to Contra Costa, if any, was 
directed to be apportioned, fifty per cent, to be applied to building a road from the 
Walnut Creek House, in Contra Costa County, to the Alameda County line, to super- 
intend which, on the 27th of Decerpber, F. K. Shattuck was appointed Commissioner 
to meet a like official from Contra Costa. On March 2, 1865, the collection of the 
road poll tax was systematized, and Road Commissioners were directed to procure a 
sufficient number of receipts for the purpose of issuing them to Township Assessors, 
who were to make monthly and yearly reports of the same and be held liable, on 
bond, for any deficiency. On the same date the petition of the San Francisco and 
Alameda Railroad Company and others, for permission to lay their track through 
Alameda Street to Ward Street, and through the latter to the easterly sidcvof the 
county road, was granted, so far as crossing the county road at the termination of 
Ward Street was concerned; while, at the same session of the Board, the following 
apportionment of grand and trial jurors was made: Oakland Township, seventy- 
eight; Alameda Township, fourteen; Brooklyn Township, thirty-six; Eden Town- 

Political History of the County. 231 

ship, thirty-seven; Washington Township, fifty-six; Murray Township, nineteen. In 
the month of March, in this year, we find that the committee to whom was delegated 
the duty, examined and passed that now distinguished lawyer, A. A. Moore, who was 
admitted to practice in the District Court. Mr. Moore was the first law student from 
Alameda County to make such an application. 

The profound , sensation caused on the receipt of the intelligence of President 
Lincoln's assassination may be more readily imagined than described. On April 17, 
1865, the Board of Supervisors held a meeting, there being present Messrs. Fassking, 
Farrelly, Meek, Overacker, and Green. Mr. Farrelly being chosen Chairniafi p^d-'l^m.^: 
upon taking his seat he offered the following resolutions,' which were unanim'ously 
adopted: — 

" Whereas, The sad intelligence has recently come to us of the death of our beloved President, Abraham 
Lincoln, who has been inhumanly murdered in cold blood by a brutal assassin, the like of which cowardly 
assault does not find its parallel in the history of the world, therefore be it 

"Resolved, That as we have always loved and respected Honest Old Abe, our Good President, while he 
lived, and in common unison with our fellow-citizens throughout the Union, we are sad and sorrowing to-day at 
the great loss our nation has sustained, trusting in the God of our fathers, who has always sustained our nation, 
and who ever keeps her destiny in his hands to still uphold our country during this terrible affliction. It is 
hereby further 

"Resolved, That we do now, as a Board of Supervisors, adjourn without transacting any business until the 
first Monday of May, and that all matters coming before us at this time be continued until the said first Monday 
of May, and that the Sheriff of the county be directed to drape the Court House with appropriate badges of 
mourning, the same to remain thirty days. 

" And the Board then adjourned. F. K. Shattuck, Chairman. 

"Attest: G. E. ^vmv.. Deputy Clerk.. 

About this time the late Hon. J. B. Felton was a prominent candidate for the 
position of United States Senator, and many were the remarks made as to the means 
used to further his candidature, but with these we have nothing to do. His cause 
was warmly espoused by the Oakland News, and as strenuously opposed by the San 
Leandro Gazette. On the 5th of August the Union County Convention was held in 
San Leandro, and the Democratic Convention at the same place on the 24th, the 
platform adopted being: First — In favor of a hard money currency, with an exten- 
sion of the Specific Contract Act, to include verbal contract for workingmen's wages. 
Second — Opposition to negro or Chinese suffrage. Third — In favor of the recon- 
struction of the Southern States on the principles established by President Johnson. 
At the general election which followed, on September 6th,- the Union candidates were 
successful in every instance; while, at the Judicial election held in the following 
month, S. W. Sanderson, the Republican nominee for Judge of the Supreme Court, 
received, in Alameda County, three hundred and ninety votes more than did Hartley, 
the Democratic candidate. 

On October 23, 1865, the new Board of Supervisors, consisting of F. K. Shat- 
tuck, Oakland Township; A. Cummings, Alameda Township; R. S. Farrelly, Brook- 
lyn Township; J. B. Marlin, Eden Township; H. Overacker, Washington Township; 
John Green, Murray Township, met, while among their first duties was the granting 
of a contract to E. Dole to build, for thirteen hundred dollars, a bridge Ala- 
meda Creek near the Bell Ranch, which was completed and duly accepted November 
10, 1865. 

232 History of Alameda County, California. 

1866. — In the month of January, 1866, a bill was vetoed by the Governor which 
had for its object the granting to the Alameda Railroad Company a subsidy of ten 
thousand dollars a mile, to be raised by a tax of twenty-five cents on each one hun- 
dred dollars' worth of property, but fortunately it brought numerous remonstrants 
and was very properly demolished. The chief questions during the session of the 
Legislature in this year was what was known as the " No Fence Law," and the rail- 
road subsidy. The first of these, introduced by Hon. Thomas Eager, was subse- 
quently withdrawn, and the second, although it passed, was strongly opposed by the 
citizens, who, in meeting assembled at Oakland, March 27th, called upon the Governor 
to veto it, which he did. In this year Senator Robinson introduced yet another bill 
in the Legislature. It was for the purpose of imposing and regulating a dog tax. 

On March 26, 1866, the Jackson Guards, another military organization, was 
allowed by the Board, the sum of fifty dollars per month for rent of an armory; 
on April 4th further payments to military companies were ordered suspended to await 
legislative action on the militia law, which subsequently allowed warrants to them up 
till April I, 1866, and no farther. A commission wasappointed jointly by the Alameda 
and Contra Costa Boards of Supervisors to survey the Telegraph Road with a view 
to its permanent improvement, about this time; while on Match 26th the salaries of 
■ the Auditor and Clerk of the Board were respectively fixed at nine hundred and two 
hundred and fifty dollars per annum. 

In the beginning of March, 1866, the San Antonio (Twelfth-street) bridge ques- 
tion again cropped in the rendering of a judgment against the claimant, in the case of 
Oilman vs. Contra Costa County, in the Supreme Court at Sacramento. Early in this 
chapter we have touched upon this subject (pp. 191 to 195, and 200 to 204) and shown 
to the reader how an original claim of seven thousand four hundred dollars may be 
increased to eighty-five thousand dollars and upwards. 

On May 7, 1866, five Pound Districts were established, keepers appointed, and 
rates for the county established as follows: — 

Cattle, horses, mules, etc. First day ;$i.oo 

Each subsequent day 50 

Swine, sheep and goats. First day 50 

Each subsequent day 25 

On the same date a change in the Road Districts was effected, while the road 
poll tax, and road tax, , collected for 1866-67 was directed to be set apart to the 
credit of its own especial district. On the 29th the following Road Commissioners 
were appointed: Henry P. Barlow, Alameda Township; M. C. LaGrange, Brooklyn 
Township; Hiram Madden, Eden Township; O. Morgan, Washington Township; J. 
Donlon, Murray Township; Samuel C. Percy, Oakland Township; whose bonds were 
fixed at one thousand dollars each. This scheme, it is presumed, did not work satis- 
factorily, for on September 10, 1866, the road tax was ordered to be distributed once 
more, the Auditor being directed to call in all outstanding road warrants drawn on 
the different Township Road Funds and issue, in lieu thereof, warrants on the General 
Road and Bridge Fund of the County for the amount of principal and interest of said 
warrants called in. The County Superintendent of Schools, Rev. C. E. Rich, pre- 
sented a report on the re-establishing and more clearly defining boundaries of the 

Political History of the County. 233 

several School Districts, which being fully considered at their meeting of June 5th, 
the Board then established: Oakland, Temescal, Peralta, Ocean View, Bay, Brooklyn, 
Lockwood, Redwood, Alameda, Encinal, Union, San Lorenzo, Eden Vale, Eureka, 
Alvarado, Alviso, Lincoln, Centpcville, Mowry's Landing, Washington, Mission San 
Jose, Warm Springs, Mission Peak, Murray, Pleasanton, Livermore, Suiiol. On June 
1 2th, the Contra Costa Water Company were granted the privilege to lay pipes in 
Brooklyn Township. 

In accordance with the law requiring all persons claiming the right to vote should 
be enrolled in their respective townships, the following Enrolling Clerks were ap- 
pointed: Charles H. Haile, Alameda; , Brooklyn; Joel Russell, Eden; J. W. 

Dougherty, Murray; Perry Johnson, Oakland City; T. L. Walker, Oakland Township; 
J. Shinn, Washington. 

On September 5, i865, the following Supervisors were elected: F. K. Shattuck, 
Oakland Township; Robert S. Farrelly, Brooklyn Township; J. B. Marlin, Eden 
Township; John Green, Murray Township; William Threlfall, Washington Township; 
A. Cummings, Alameda Township. There was a tie between Messrs. Cummings and 
Millington for the office of Supervisor for Alameda Township, each candidate 
receiving forty votes, but the special election held on the 22d of the same month 
resulted in the choice of Mr. Cummings. 

Henry Dobbel, under date December 10, 1866, put in a claim for four hundred 
dollars, alleged value of a mule killed in crossing an insecure bridge near Dougherty's 
Station, which, on, being delegated to a committee, was finally rejected on January 6, 
1867. The condition of the Court House would still appear to have been a cause of 
solicitude to the Board, for we find them on December loth appointing another com- 
mittee to examine into its condition, who reported that thirty dollars would make all 
the repairs necessary. At the same time GofPs plan for fencing that building, long 
since "pigeon-holed," was once more brought to light, and subsequently a contract 
was entered into with John Taylor, for fourteen hundred dollars, it being paid for, and 
therefore completed, March 23, 1867. 

The Board of Supervisors, on December loth, adopted a rule that the first day of 
each meeting should be devoted to petitions, reports of county officers and auditing 
bills, unless otherwise ordered by two-thirds of the members present; and also, 
decided upon explicit regulations for the government of Justices of the Peace and 
Constables in their reports; also for those of Road Commissioners. 

In compliance with the requirements of the law, on December 3d the Board of 
Supervisors made a semi-annual statement of the revenue and finances of the county 
and the debt existing at that date. The receipts from all sources ware as follows: — 

From State Fund $55,711.26 

" County General Fund 19,752.11 

" Common School Fund 15,469.67 

Road and Bridge Fund 23, 176.70 

" Indigent Sick Fund 4.379-02 

'• Oakland Bar Fund 3.882.52 

" Contra Costa Fund 2,453.01 

Total $125,824.29 

Cash on hand June 4, i865 13,137.22 

Grand total of Receipts $138,961:51 


234 History of Alameda County, California. 

The total value of assessed property in Alameda County for the year was five 
millions six hundred and twenty thousand nine hundred and seventy-six dollars and 
fifty cents. 

1 867. — This year is remarkable as one when the Sheriff's office was no sinecure ; 
crime was rife, and owing to the amount of individual lawlessness, the Grand Jury 
were three days in getting through the business of the January term. They returned 
into coiirt with eleven indictments, embracing all the range of crime from man- 
slaughter to petit larceny. It appears that at thjs sitting of the court, one prisoner 
was tried for the grave offense of stealing a horSe, but was acquitted — so said the 
Gazette — by Yivs, peers. This legal phraseology, however correct, did not find favor 
with some of the jury in the case, who thought that the mighty wielder of the shears 
and paste-brush had branded them as horse-thieves, he was therefore called upon for 
an explanation, which no doubt he made^ as it is not recorded that vengeance fell upon 
his devoted head. 

In January, 1867, an important decision was rendered by the Supreme Court, 
touching the question of damages and benefits to property by railroads. The partic- 
ular case of which we speak was that of the San Francisco, Alameda, and Stockton 
Railroad vs. Andrew Caldwell and others, land-owners on the route of the road. It 
had been decided by Judge McKee that it was wrong for Commissioners to take the 
supposed benefits conferred -by a railroad as whole or part compensation for lands 
taken from an owner for right of way. This decision the Supreme Court reversed, 
maintaining that the difference in the value of property before and after the improve- 
ments should be taken into account in awarding damages and benefits. Justices 
Curry, Shafter, and Sanderson sustained this view, b,ut Justice Rhodes dissented, on 
the ground that " benefits'' could not be considered in ascertaining the "just compen- 
sation" to which the land-owner is entitled under the Constitution. 

On February 4, 1867, the Board of Supervisors resolved to expend three hundred 
dollars in laying out Court House Square and planting trees therein, but that sum 
being considered insufficient for the purpose, two hundred and fifty dollars more were 
appropriated, and on April 13th a flag-staff, to cost fifty dollars, was ordered for the 
square. On April 23, 1867, Supervisors Green and Threlfall endeavored to rescind 
the order in force in regard to the distribution of the Road Fund, but were voted 
down by Messrs. Marlin, Cummings and Farrelly, but the old order was subsequently 
adopted on April 13th. The Board having heard that Dr. Haile had a claim against 
the county for medical. services rendered to prisoners in the jail, under order of the 
former Board, on April 13th, annulled such order and notified the doctor not to render 
service unless so ordered. At the following meeting he was allowed three hundred 
and twenty-fiv2 dollars. On this same date the Contra Costa Water Company 
obtained permission to lay pipes in Oakland Township; and, on May 27th, Dr. T. H. 
Pinkerton was elected resident physician of the County Hospital. 

On June 8, 1867, the Union County Convention was convened at San Leandro, 
but discord had crept into the ranks of the party, and there was an undoubted diver- 
sity of opinion in the assembly. Judge A. M. Crane was chosen Chairman, and A. 
M. Church and William Gagan, Secretaries, while there were some fifty delegates 

Political History of the County. ,235 

in attendance from all the townships in the county, and the following emissaries were 
appointed to the State Convention at Sacramento: John W. Dwinelle and B. F. 
Ferris, Oakland Township; A. M. Church and B. F. Marston, Washington Township; 
William Meek, Eden Township; S. Milbury, Brooklyn Township; A. M. Crane, Ala- 
meda and Murray Townships jointly. Mr. Dwinelle offered two resolutions, which 
were adopted. The first presented Hon. E. D. Wheeler, as a candidate for the office 
of Attorney-General; the second indorsed the oiiScial course of Hon. William Higby 
as representative of the district in the United States Congress. Judge Crane (the 
Chairman) took the floor and offered a series of four resolutions, the first indorsing 
the reconstruction policy of Congreis; the second favoring the amendment of the 
Constitution, as proposed by the Thirtieth Congress, and the disfranchisement of the 
leaders of the Rebellion; the third favored the amendment of our State Constitution, 
removing the discrimination then made against the better educated of the colored 
people of the State; the fourth resolved that " while this Convention refrains from 
instructing the delegates to the State and Congressional Conventions in favor of any 
particular persons, yet we do instruct them to vote for no candidate known to be a 
crafty and unprincipled politician, seeking his own good and the consummation of 
corrupt schemes for the enriching and aggrandizement of a class at the expense of 
the people; for no one* heretofore known as a corrupt lobbyist, seeking to impose upon 
the people an immense public debt for .the sole benefit of already overgrown corpora- 
tions or secret cliques and 'rings' of public thieves; for, no one, in short, whose record 
in public and private life is not pure and clear from all such corrupt contaminations." 
The mover sustained his resolutions in a lengthy speech, after which Mr. Dwinelle 
moved that they be voted on separately. The first and second resolutions were unan- 
imously carried; the third gave rise to a discussion in which most of the members of 
the Convention took part. Mr. Dwinelle opposed the resolution at length, taking 
strong grounds against negro suffrage, contending that the negroes were inferior to the 
Chinese, and finally moved that the resolution be laid upon the table. Mr. Crane and 
Mr. Shinn replied, condemning Mr. Dwinelle's utterances, and said the speech of the 
gentleman from Oakland would have been a very proper one for a Democratic Con- 
vention. S. G. Nye defended the resolution as far as it went, but thought suffrage 
should not be based on complexion, but on manhood. On a division, it was found 
that twenty-five voted for Mr. Dwinelle's proposition, and twenty against, while four 
declined to vote, all the Oakland delegates but two voting in the majority. The 
fourth re.solution, which was evidently aimed at the candidacy of George C. Gorham 
for Governor, was withdrawn, and peace and harmony restored by Judge Hamilton 
moving that the word white be stricken out of the State Constitution, wherever it 

On the iSth of June the Democratic County Convention was held at the same 
place, when J. West Martin, C. H. Gushing, J. W. Dougherty, William Moss, and John 
Threlfall were appointed delegates to the State Convention. 

When the Convention met at Sacramento the name placed at the head of the 
ticket was that of George C. Gorham for Governor, who, it was afterwards charged, 
had secured his nomination by smart tactics and " trading;" the real choice of the 
Convention was General John Bidwell, of Chico. Be this charge as it may, the 

236 History of Alameda County, California. 

Union men that were expected to have led him triumphantly to victory, became dis- 
affected, and at the election held in the month of October, the ticket vi^as ingloriously 
defeated. The Democrats seeing this weakening of the opposing host, published a 
platform denouncing the Mongolian influx, declared labor to be the true foundation 
of all prosperity, and placed at the head of their ticket the name of Henry H. Haight 
of Alameda as Democratic candidate for Governor, who, amid much enthusiasm, 
obtained a signal majority over Gorham of eight thousand five hundred and twenty- 
seven votes. 

On July 6, 1867, the Contra Costa indebtedness was reported fully settled, and the 
Treasurer ordered to discontinue the fund set apart for that purpose, and to transfer 
all sums on hand or due to that fund to the General County Fund. 

On July 22d, the Union County Convention met at San Leandro for the purpose 
of nominating County and Judicial officers; the Democrats meeting for that purpose 
on the loth of August. In the ticket presented by the last-mentioned party there 
was for the office of District Attorney, George M. Blake, a convert from the Union 
ranks, while, in the person of Captain Mayhew, who had been a prominent member of 
the other party, the Democracy also found a new follower, yet notwithstanding these 
recruits the Union ticket was that which won. The Board of Supervisors elected on 
October 4th was composed of, F. K. Shattuck, Oakland Township; Duncan Cameron, 
Brooklyn Township; E. M. Smith, Alameda Township; J. B. Marlin, Eden Township; 
John M. Horner, Washington Township; Dan. Inman, Murray Township; who 
appointed Mr. Shattuck, Chairman, and Messrs. Shattuck, Cameron, Smith, and 
Marlin, the Hospital Committee. December 12, 1867, it was ordered that no more 
armory claims would be allowed unless accompanied with evidence of approval by 
the State Board of Military Auditors. 

1868. — Early in this year the late distinguished citizen of Alameda County, J. 
Ross Browne, was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Peking, but 
not being impressed either with the " Flowery Kingdom " or the officials thereof, he 
returned to these more congenial shores and at once set about unmercifully satirizing 
the Burlingame Treaty, that marvelous covenant which, in the language of its author 
and originator, was to establish the "comity of natiqns, and place a shining cross upon 
every hill " in China. 

Once again in this year did the removal of the State Capital obtain prominence, 
and once more did Alameda County make an offer for the prize. At a meeting of 
the Board held February 3, 1868, on motion of Supervisor Horner, the following pre- 
amble and resolution were unanimously adopted: — 

" Whereas, The question of the removal of the State Capital is now pending in the Legislature; therefore, 

" Resolved, That a committee of three members of this Board be appointed to prepare a Bill to be submitted 

to said Legislature, authorizing the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County to issue bonds to the amount of one 

hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to be appropriated to the erection of suitable buildings for use of the State, in 

the event of the Legislature locating the State Capital in this Coujity. " 

Messrs Shattuck, Cameron, and Smith were appointed such committee. On the 
2 1st February, the State Legislature visited Oakland, but it is needless to say the 
Capital was not given to the county. On the 29th of this month County Surveyor 
Board man was requested to keep an office at the county seat and remove thither all 
public records of his department. 

Political History of the County. 237 

In this year a bill was introduced in the State Senate, the Committee on Com- 
merce and Navigation recommending its passage, granting a tract of submerged lands 
with a frontage of nearly a mile on ship channel lying between Alameda and San 
Leandro to the Western Pacific Railroad Company for a terminus, the company to 
give bonds that the terminus would be there located and that a large amount of 
money would be expended in improvements. A bill was introduced by Mr. Church, 
in this year, recommending a considerable diminution in the emoluments of county 
officers, which gave rise to much discussion and was the cause of a good deal of pleas- 
antry, as may be gleaned from the following suggestive advertisement which appeared 
in the columns of the Gazette: — 

" County Clerk's Office. — Notice! Except duringthe sessions of the courts, or meetings of the Board of 
Supervisors, the Clerk will be found somewhere about the neighborhood, sawing wood. Any business connected 
with the office will be attended to after work hours. N. B. — Orders for wood-sawing left on the order-slate will 
be promptly attended to at two dollars per day, and board." 

On March 1 8, 1 868, there passed the Legislature, an Act to provide for the erection 
of a jail and County Recorder's office in San Leandro; and another, concerning roads 
and highways in Alameda County. About the same time another bill was introduced 
by Mr. Church, having for its object the purchase of land for charitable purposes and 
the establishment of an institution thereon for the care of " unfortunates." This has 
since developed into the County Infirmary. The "Legislature in this year, too, failed 
to pass an Act in favor of granting a subsidy to the Alameda Railroad Company to 
aid it in extending their line to Washington Corners, which caused its abandonment. 

In regard to political meetings, the Union County Convention assembled at San 
Leandro on March i8, i868, and elected delegates to the State Convention at Sacra- 
mento, while that of the Democrats was there convened on the 2Sth of April, when 
they passed resolutions highly complimentary to Governor Haight, and strongly urged 
his being put forward as the next Democratic candidate for the highest office in the 
gift of the people of the United States — the Presidential Chair. 

On May ii, i868, the County Treasurer was directed to divide the late Alameda 
County Road and Bridge Fund equally among the several townships; but on the ist 
of June this order was amended, and that officer instructed to set apart ten per cent, 
of the road and bridge, tax and establish the " Special Road and Bridge Fund," from 
which appropriations were immediately made, as follows: one thousand dollars to each 
of the roads — from Alvarado to Centreville; Stockton Road, in Murray Township; 
Salt Marsh, in Eden Township; and five hundred dollars for a new bridge across 
Alameda Creek, south of Alvarado. On June 1st, a petition addressed to the Board 
of Supervisors by the County Superintendent of Schools for an increase of salary was 
received and the prayer granted, his stipend being then fixed at one hundred dollars 
a month, with the understanding that he devote his entire time to the duties of his 

On Saturday, July i8, i868, a grand Democratic ratification meeting at San 
Leandro, in honor of the nomination of Seymour and Blair as candidates for the Pres- 
idency and Vice-Presidency of the United States, was held, among the speakers being 
Governor Haight and Lieutenant-Governor Holden. The chair was occupied by 
William S. Moss, while the Secretary was W. J. Collier, editor of the Democrat. 

i!38 History of Alameda County, California. 

There was a great deal of excitement among politicians during the Presidential 
election of this year, mass meetings of both Republicans and Democrats being held 
throughout the county, while the most able speakers were arrayed on both sides. 
The Republican candidates were General U. S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax, and those 
of the Democracy already mentioned, the former of whom, at the election held Octo- 
ber 3d, received a majority in Alameda County of five hundred and thirty-six votes, 
the winning candidates receiving one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one votes, 
and Seymour and Blair, Democratic nominees, twelve hundred and sixty-two. In 
this year there were enrolled on the Great Register, after the cancelled names were 
struck off, four thousand six hundred and twenty-three names, while there were 
recorded on the poll list only three thousand five hundred and ninety-six names, 
showing that there were two thousand and twenty-seven persons who did not feel 
sufficient interest to have their names registered; therefore, taking the number of 
votes cast, viz.: three thousand one hundred and' twenty-three, from the number on 
the Great R.egister, and we have fifteen hundred persons in the county who were enti- 
tled to vote but did not make use of the privilege. 

On October 26, 1868, the county jail of San Francisco was designated as that 
for Alameda County also ; while, at their meeting of November 1 6th, the Board of Super- 
visors agreed upon plans for a new Court House, jail and Recorder's office, the latter 
to be a fire-proof brick building, and the prison to be provided with iron cells. The 
Board also appointed, at this time, a special committee to purchase a piece of ground 
on which to establish the County Infirmary, who were instructed to obtain 'fifty acres of 
land belonging to Mr. Puff, and located betwcii San Leandro and Haywards, above 
the county road. The Supervisors elected for this term were: F. K. Shattuck, Oak- 
land Township; Duncan Cameron, Brooklyn Township; E. M. Smith, Alameda 
Township; J. B. Marlin, Eden Township; Dan. Inman, Murray Township; William 
Whidden, Washington Township. On December nth the county, conjointly with 
the city of Oakland, established a pest-house on the San Pablo Road; while, on the 
same date, rates of dockage, etc., were established for the Ocean View Wharf, under 
the Act of March 3, 1868. 

1 869. — This year opened with the ranks of our citizens being decimated by 
small-pox, which was then prevalent in the county, and accounts for the establish- 
ment of the pest-house mentioned above, in which, in the first week in January, there 
were four patients, attended by a cook, nurse, and visiting physician; beyond this 
there was little of any moment. 

At a previous meeting a petition was presented to the Board for widening Tele- 
graph Road from the charter line of -the city of Oakland to the town of Berkeley, 
and February i, 1869, set as the day for hearing claims for damages resulting from 
same. Claims aggregating nearly forty thousand dollars were made, and proof 
brought before the Supervisors, who, on May 25th, awarded as such a little over eight 
thousand dollars. On August 8th a second petition was received for the same pur- 
pose, with claims totaling seven thousand five hundred and fifty dollars, of which six 
hundred dollars were allowed. The road was finally ordered opened. May 5, 1870. 
On February 13th, the report and field notes of survey of the boundary line between 

Political History of the County. 239 

San Joaquin and Alameda Counties were submitted, approved and adopted; and, on 
May 3d, a special road and bridge fund was again created. 

Early in the year the new Court House was completed, but its appearance, style, 
'and discomfort, excited general complaint; for its embellishment, however, a new 
national flag was ordered on June 6, 1869. On July 7th we find the first petition for 
the creation of a Swamp and Tide Land District, under the Act approved March 23, 
1868; on the 17th the Union County Convention was held in San Leandro, while 
the Democrats made no nominations; but an Independent party was formed and a 
ticket put in the field, headed by Edward Tompkins for State Senator. On the ist 
of September the election was held, portions of both tickets being successful. For 
the office of County Recorder there was a tie vote between P. S. Marston and M. W. 
Levy, which, at a special election held on October 2Sth, was set at rest by the first- 
named gentleman being chosen. The Board of Supervisors elected were: A. C. 
Henry (Chairman), Oakland Township; Duncan Cameron, Brooklyn Township; 
Louis Fassking, Alameda Township; William Haywaid, Eden Township; M. W. 
Dixon, Washington Township; Thomas Scott, Murray Township; who commenced 
their duties on October 4th. On the 2d November it was ordered that the county 
printing should be thereafter done by contract, such being awarded, on December 
1 2th, to the Oakland News, Transcript, and Alameda County Gazette for, one twelve- 
month, at one hundred dollars each yearly On the 12th December E. L. Beard, 
for Swamp Land District No. 82, reported work commenced, in accordance with the 
Act, and made a demand for funds, when a warrant on the Swamp Land Fund 
for eleven hundred dollars was ordered to be issued 

1870. — Early in this year a bill was introduced in the Legislature providing for 
the building of a bridge over the estuary of the San Antonio, between Oakland and 
Alameda, but the people of Brooklyn, thinking that such would materially interfere 
with their commercial prosperity, strongly protested against its construction, to no avail, 
however, for the bridge was built and is now known as the Webster-street Bridge. 
Another scheme of the same nature was the introduction in the Legislature for an 
Act authorizing the construction of a bridge between Oakland and Brooklyn, for 
which plans and specifications were authorized to be called on March 14th. These, 
as prepared by W. F- Boardman, were adopted on the 2d of May, the county agreeing 
to pay fifteen thousand dollars in bonds, and the balance to be supplied from the 
Road Funds of Oakland and Brooklyn Townships. This action, however, was recon- 
sidered on the 7th June, when all bids received in the matter of building were ordered 
to be rejected, and the Auditor directed to issue fifteen thousand dollars in bonds to 
the Road and Bridge Committee, who were empowered to commence the construction 
without delay, but under no circumstance was the expense to exceed the sum men- 
tioned above. On July ist the contract to supply piles and lumber therefor was let 
to Samuel Merritt, and on the 20th August the work was commenced under the 
superintendence of Roadmasters Thorne, of Brooklyn, and Hersey, of Oakland, who 
did the preliminary grading, cut down the hill n the Clinton side, and filled in 
the roadway with earth. It was not until the of the year, however, that the 
work was completed. 

240 History of Alameda County, California. 

It is always a pleasant task to chronicle tributes of praise to deserving public 
officials, as that which we here append. At the meeting of the Board, held February 
7, 1870, the following preamble and resolutions were introduced by Supervisor Henry: — 

"Whereas, I. A. Amerman, Esq., will retire from the office of County Clerk before this Board will 
meet again; therefore be it 

" Resolved, By the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, that we recognize in I. A. Amerman an hon- 
orable citizen, and one who has for the last four years discharged the duties of the office of County Clerk with 
fidelity and honor to the people and himself. 

" Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this Board." 

Besides this eulogium, that gentleman was presented with a handsome gold 
watch, chain and key, by the clerks in the Court House, Deputy Recorder, A. A. 
Moore, making the presentation speech. A few days later Mr. Amerman received 
from the members of the bar a set of silver table ware, the offering being made by 
Lewis Shearer, Esq. 

March 7, 1870, the official bond of the County Treasurer was increased to sixty 
thousand dollars; and, on March 14th, the Board of Supervisors entered an earnest 
protest against the attempt being made by the city of Oakland to remove the county 
seat, setting forth that it is wrong and detrimental to the best interests of the tax- 
payers of the county. Thus we see the commencement of that bitter feud that so 
long existed between Oakland and the country residents. On the same date the 
Board also condemned the " draw-bridge project," to be built by parties resident at 
Alameda Point and Oakland, and declared it against the interests of the citizens of 
the county. Copies of these resolutions were sent to the Legislature. 

The proposition authorizing the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County to 
issue bonds for the construction of a new bridge between Brooklyn and Oakland, to 
the value of twenty thousand dollars, was approved March 12, 1870, and became law; 
while, on the 4th April, petitions were received from F. K. Shattuck for a franchise to 
build a wharf from the south half of Plat No. 59, Oakland; another from Ezekiel 
Brown for similar privileges at Berkeley Point, whence a ferry was to be run to San 
Francisco; and a third from William A. Bray, to construct railroads in Oakland and 
Brooklyn Townships. On the same date Adeline or Regent Street was declared a 
public thoroughfare from Twenty-second Street to San Pablo. Road, Oakland. ~ 

On April 5, 1870, the Board of Supervisors declared themselves dissatisfied with 
the boundary lines of the county and called for a resurvey of the sarne " from junction 
of San Joaquin and Tuolumne Counties northwardly on the west line of San Joaquin 
County to the slough known as the Pescadero, and also to establish that portion of 
the boundary from the Pescadero Slough, westwardly, in a straight line, until it strikes 
the dividing ridge in the direction of the house of Joel Harlan in Amador Valley." 
This order was modified on June 7th, however, and Horace A. Higley was appointed 
Deputy Surveyor, by the Surveyor-General of California, to survey the boundary lines 
of the county of Alameda. He was directed first to establish the line between 
Alameda and San Joaquin, to be subsequently approved by the Surveyor-General, 
and afterwards erect monuments, execute maps for filing, etc., for which he was to 
receive one thousand dollars in county scrip. These duties being completed he 
received his warrant September 9, 1870, and on the nth November the Board of 
Supervisors of San Joaquin County were notified that the boundary line established 
by Mr. Higley was that recognized as the true one by Alameda County. 

Political History of the County. 241 

On May 2, 1870, Hiram Tubbs, J. West Martin, W. A. Bray, F. K. Shattuck, 
W. Van Voorhies, T. Le Roy, A. J. Snyder, George M. Blake, Harry Linden, and 
Allen J. Gladding, on petition, were allowed to lay down and operate for twenty-five 
years, a railroad from Fruit Vale to and upon Twelfth-street Bridge, Oakland; and 
one on Adeline Street to University Avenue. On the same date, B. F. Mann, Fred- 
erick Kapp, E. A. Haines, C. C. Webb, and S. Burpy et al., were granted similar 
privileges from the boundary line between Alameda and Contra Costa Counties on 
San Pablo Road to Broadway, and thence to the water front of the City of Oakland; 
while, on July 1st, the same company were granted the right to operate a horse rail- 
road, as follows: Commencing at Washington Corners; thence along the main county 
highway, through Centreville, Alvarado, and San Lorenzo to San Leandro; thence 
along the public highway to Fruit Vale Avenue in Brooklyn Township; and thence 
to connect with the contemplated railroad to San Pablo in Contra Costa County. 

Under the provisions of ±he "Gopher and Squirrel Act," passed March 2, 1870, a 
special tax of one and a half cents on each one hundred dollars' worth of property, to 
be called the Bounty Fund, was ordered to be levied; while, another special levy of 
one cent, with the same conditions, was ordered in accordance with the Act approved 
March 8, 1870, to be known as "Interest Bridge Fund." On June 7th the County 
Recorder was authorized to re-record in the proper book the following maps: Kellers- 
berger's Map of the City of Oakland; Map of town of San Leandro, by H. A. Higley; 
and a map of Oakland showing the position of the property of Joseph Irving, deceased. 
At the same time the map of the ranchos of Vicente and Domingo Peralta were 
ordered to be framed. 

On June 11, 1870, the articles of incorporation of the Decoto Land Company 
of Alameda County were filed in the office of the County Clerk of San Francisco; 
while, among other corporations connected with Alameda whose documents were iiled 
in this year, were the Bay Spring Water Company, in the office of the Secretary of 
State, April 4th; the Berkeley and Oakland Water Works Company, in the office of 
the County Clerk of Alameda County, April 12th; and the articles of association) 
amalgamation and consolidation of the Central Pacific of California with the Western 
Pacific Railroad, under the name of the Central Pacific Railroad, in the office of the 
Secretary of State, June 23d. 

On July I, 1870, the petition of E. S. Moulton et al., to build a wharf in Alameda, 
was received and the prayer granted; while, from the report of the Grand Jury for fhe 
September term of this year, we find that the balance in the treasury vault on the 
23d of that month was twelve thousand nine hundred and fourteen dollars; and the 
assessed value of the real and personal property in the county was eleven millions 
seven hundred and eighty-six thousand three hundred and eighty-one. dollars; the 
amount of tax levied for the year 1870 being two hundred and fifty-five thousand 
seven hundred and sixty-four dollars and forty-eight cents. 

On October 3, 1870, the new Board of Supervisors took their seats and com- 
prised: F. K. Shattuck (Chairman), Oakland Township; R. S. Farrelly, Brooklyn 
Township; Louis Fassking, Alameda Township; W. J. Stratton, Eden Township; 
M. W. Dixon, Washington Township; Thomas Scott, Murray Township. Among 
their first duties was the appointment of a eommittee to obtain plans and specifica- 

242 History of Alameda County, California. 

tions for a draw-bridge across the Alameda Creek, near Alvarado, and to order the 
Road Commissioners of Eden and Washington Townships to advertise for bids to 
build the same. On the 7th November, Mr. Burrell, to whom was granted the con- 
tract at eleven hundred and ninety dollars, invited examination of the work, and for 
this purpose the Board appointed a committee, who, on January 9, 1871, reported 
that the building of the bridge was not in accordance with the plans and specifications, 
and recommended its rejection. Upon this the contractor was granted thirty days' 
extension of time wherein to complete the work, and on the 2d February was allowed 
one thousand dollars on account, while John Caddy was appointed to inspect and 
report upon the work March 3d. Mr. Burrell demanded a settlement in full, but this 
the Board refused on the plea that the bridge had not been made in accordance with 
the plans adopted by them, but on the nth the Supervisors agree to examine the 
structure, evidently it was found to be unsatisfactory, however, for we find, under date 
March 20, that the Road Commissioners of Washington Township were required to 
put the bridge in proper order to subserve the purposes for which it was intended, 
that official, on April 14th, reporting its completion by B. F. Ingalls at a cost of four 
hundred and ninety-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents. 

The certificate of incorporation of the San Jose Mission Land Company was filed, 
October 13th; and, on the 17th, the fifteen thousand dollars' worth of bonds issued on 
account of the Twelfth-street Bridge was reported as exhausted and the work unfin- 
ished; whereupon the Board ordered the issuance of three thousand dollars additional 
bonds to complete the work. A committee appointed for this purpose, December 5th, 
report all bills paid, and after selling the last-mentioned bonds at par, held a cash 
balance of four hundred and ninety dollars and forty-nine cents. 

The population of Alameda County, according to the census of 1870 is given at 
twenty-five thousand, seven hundred and thirty-seven. 

1 87 1. — It is said the year 1871 was remarkable in Alameda County for its hom- 
icides, criminal calendar, educational enterprises, and short crops. 

On January 2d, Judge Nye, in his charge to the Grand Jury, dealt roughly with 
the California Legislature for passing an Act in opposition to the spirit of the Con- 
stitution of the State, permitting the Mercantile Library Lottery in San Francisco. 
He declared, that, without exaggeration, no single Legislative Act in the history of the 
State had been so baneful to society, and urged upon them to indict any parties get- 
ging up lotteries or raffles in the county, several of which were known to be in prog- 
ress. This Grand Jury reported that they had found twelve true bills out of the 
seventeen cases examined ; while, an order was issued which transferred the famous 
case of Laura D. Fair, tried for the murder of A. P. Crittenden, in the month of Octo- 
ber of the previous year, to the Third District Court. It will be remembered that 
Mrs. Fair shot Crittenden on the Oakland Ferry Boat after she had left the wharf, 
which as we all know, juts for a great distance into the bay; consequently a doubt 
arose in which county the crime was committed, and upon the survey of Surveyor- 
General Bost it was found that the offense took place outside of the boundaries of 
Alameda County, therefore it became necessary to transfer the case to San Francisco. 

William C. Blackwood and William Meek, two of the chief taxpayers in the 

Political History of the County. 243 

county, on January 30, 187 1, entered suit in the Tiiird District Court against County 
Treasurer McClure, to recover the amount of State and county taxes paid under pro- 
test by them, claiming, among other things, that the assessment roll was made by 
Edwin Hunt, who was not County Assessor, and who was not authorized by law to 
make such assessment. On the 6th February the District Attorney requested the 
Board of Supervisors to supply him with assistance in defending the suits, when Hon. 
John W. Dwinelle was employed. These were cases of great interest and moment 
to the county, and as a decision of the suits was not likely to be reached for some 
months, and as the legality of the assessment for the current fiscal year was involved, 
Mr. Dwinelle consulted Attorney-General Hamilton, who brought an action oiquo war- 
ranto against Edwin Hunt, the acting County Assessor, charging him with usurpation 
of office, setting out all the facts, including Mr. Hunt's election. A demurrer was 
entered by Mr. Dwinelle, the case argued in the Fourth District Court, before Judge 
Morrison, and a decision in Mr. Hunt's favor recorded. The case was appealed. On 
February 13th, it was resolved by the Board of Supervisors, "That it is expedient 
that proceedings be instituted to procure a speedy decision by the Supreme Court as 
to the rightful authority by which the assessment of State and county taxes can be 
made in the county of Alameda." It came on before that tribunal, who affirmed 
Judge Morrison's decision, and it was decided that the office of County Assessor of 
Alameda County is a county office; that Edwin Hunt was lawfully elected and was 
last year, and was then, lawfully in office. 

On March 6, 1871, the boundary line between Eden and Washington Townships 
was rectified as follows: "Commencing at the junction of North and Alameda Creeks; 
thence running up said North Creek to the mouth of Mathewson Ditch, so called; 
thence up said ditch to its intersection with the Mountain Road; thence following the 
line of said ditch produced to its intersection with the old township line at a point on 
the lands of Andrew Patterson; thence following the old township line between Eden 
and Washington Townships easterly to the corner of Washington, Murray, and Eden 
Townships." t 

Under the Act approved April 4, 1870, the Board of Supervisors authorized the 
building of the drawbridge at the foot of Webster Street, Oakland, the cost not to 
exceed forty-five thousand dollars, to be borne equally by the city of Oakland and town- 
ship of Alameda, for which purpose, at this meeting, under the report of the Commis- 
sioners, a tax of three dollars and eighty cents on one hundred dollars of assessed 
property in Alameda Township was also levied. To this levy there was, however, 
some objection, and to test its validity suit was brought against the Board of Super- 
visors by Thomas A. Smith, in whose favor Justice McKee decided, on the ground that 
the levy was in excess of the amount authorized by the Act, and therefore void. The 
Board therefore ordered another levy of three dollars and sixty cents on each one 
hundred dollars' worth of taxable property. On March 20th, the Oakland Gas Light 
Company asked for further privilege to lay pipes across the Twelfth-street Bridge, 
while, on the loth April, E. L. Beard was paid seven thousand three hundred and 
twenty-one dollars on account of work done in Swamp Land District No. 82, from May, 
1870 -to May, 1871. On May 9th, the deed of J. S. Emery's rock quarry was made by 
that gentleman to Road Commissioner Hersey, of Oakland Township, and his succcs- 


History of Alameda County, California. 

sors in office, which was duly accepted and ordered recorded, the rock from the quarry 
being directed to be used in the macadamizing of roads in Oakland Township. On 
June 1 2th, bonds were ordered to be issued to the amount of two thousand dollars for 
the purpose of completing the Twelfth-street Bridge, in accordance with the Act 
approved March 12, 1870, said bonds to be issued "out of the Oakland and San 
.Leandro Bridge Fund." This order was amended, however, August 25th, by omitting 
these words. On the 2d October, the repairs were reported as nearly completed; but 
these matters would appear to have rested for a time, for we find on the 6th November 
the attention of the Supervisors being called to its unfinished condition. On August 
25th, two thousand dollars from the Special Road and Bridge Fund was directed to be 
set apart for constructing a bridge over the Arroyo de Laguna, in Murray Township, 
for which the plans and specifications were adopted on September 1 8th, and the con- 
tract awarded to E. Dole, who reported its completion at a cost of two thousand 
eight hundred dollars, on the 13th November. Eight hundred dollars of this sum 
was contributed by private individuals, the balance being paid by warrants on the 
county treasury. On the i8th September, another sum of one thousand seven hundred 
and five dollars was paid from the Swamp Land Fund to E. L. Beard for work per- 
formed between the 15th July and 15th September. 

At the election of September 6, 1871, for Congressional, State, County, and 
Township officers, Newton Booth received a majority in Alameda of nine hundred 
and eighteen votes, a result which gave great pleasure to his adherents, more espe- 
cially as it was thought that his opponent. Governor Haight, was almost certain of 
re-election. On the 2d October the new Board of Supervisors, composed of the 
following gentlemen, took their seats: F. K. Shattuck (Chairman), Oakland Town- 
ship; W. B. Clement, Alameda Township; Isham Case, Brooklyn Township; J. B. 
Marlin, Eden Township; H. Overacker, Washington Township, Joshua A. Neal, 
Murray Township; and at once entered upon their duties. 

1872. — The chief object of interest in this year was the question of the removal 
of the county seat. The first gun was fired on February 6th, when Supervisor Marlin 
introduced a resolution on the subject which was " simply received and filed." The 
Legislature was in session at this time, and there the city of Oakland, which was 
represented in the Senate by Hon. Ed. Tompkins, and in the Assembly by Doc- 
tor Pardee, felt that a better fight could be made than in the year 1870, when the 
matter was last contested. But the honor was not by any means to go undisputed, 
for the citizens, outside of Oakland, were all on the side of the residents of Eden 
Township, who wished the prize for San Leandro. This contest has been so fully 
described by different writers that we reproduce one of these: "Assemblyman Crane 
took up the cause for his country constituents; the Board of Supervisors, excepting 
the Oakland delegate, were a unit in favor of San Leandro; an able delegation, con- 
sisting of Hon. I. A. Amerman and John Nugent, watched over their interests at 
Sacramento, where they had the support of some of the ablest men on both sides of 
either house. On one side the cry raised was convenience, and, on the other, cost. 
The Oakland people maintained that they supplied the greater part of the business 
transacted at the county seat, which was nine miles distant from them. There were 

Political History of the County. '245 

the principal lawyers and professional men, the banks and real estate agents of the 
county. The Edenites maintained that San Leandro was more central; that it 
was accessible and convenient for all parts of the county, and was served by two rail- 
roads; that the county was in possession of a valuable piece of property, which was 
donated to it by the Estudillo family, which would revert to the original owners in 
case of disuse of the purpose for which it was granted; that county offices, a Court 
House, and jail, sufficient for the wants of the county, were already erected; and that 
removal would entail great expense on the people for new county buildings and 
grounds upon which to erect them. 

The Oaklanders met some of these objections by showing that the upper portion 
of the City Hall could be used for years yet to come for county offices; that a fire- 
proof Hall of Records could be built on the city property adjoining the City Hall; 
or, in case of failure in this, the two city plazas, consisting of two town blocks in 
the lower part of the city, on Broadway, could be secured for the purpose of county 

Oakland had a committee, or an association, established, called the Citizens' 
Union, which directed the agitation in favor of removal, and of which Harry Linden 
was agent. A petition was prepared and names sought for it all over the county, and 
active steps taken for legislative action. This aroused the Eden people, who also held 
meetings and organized. Their first public meeting was held in the Court House, 
San Leandro, on January lo, 1872. It was addressed by L A. Amerman and John 
Nugent, of Eden; R. S. Farrelly and' A. H. Griffith, of Brooklyn; and J. R. Palmer, 
of Murray. A committee was appointed to report a plan of action and resolutions, 
consisting of County Judge Nye and four of the gentlemen already mentioned. The 
following resolutions were adopted: — 

Whereas, Certain people in the city of Oakland are endeavoring to remove the county seat of Alameda 
County from its-present central location to the city of Oakland; and 

Whereas, Said removal is contrary to the wishes of a large majority of the tax-payers of Alameda County; 
therefore, be it 

Resolved, That our Senator and meml lers of Assembly be, and they are hereby earnestly requested to delay 
any action upon the petition for the removal of the county seat until they receive a remonstrance of the tax-pay- 
ers who are opposed to such removal. 

Resolved, That a. copy of the above proceedings be forwarded to the Senator and members of Assembly of 
Alameda County, duly certified by the Chairman and Secretary. 

A committee, having a representative in every school district in the county, was 
appointed to procure names to a remonstrance, which, in due time, was forwarded to 
Sacramento, largely signed. 

Mr. Amerman, having been commissioned to go to Sacramento to watch legisla- 
tion and defeat action there, immediately after his arrival addressed a communication 
to Senator Tompkins, in which he put to that gentleman six leading questions touch- 
ing removal. Mr. A.'s communication was dated the 17th of January, and the Sen- 
ator's answer came promptly on the i8th, and in which he took strong ground favor- 
able to the Oakland agitation. 

Then followed a public meeting in Brayton Hall, Oakland, on the 24th of Janu- 
ary, at which the following preamble and resolutions were adopted: — 

246 History of Alameda Cou^jty, California. 

Whereas, It has become necessary for the accommodation of a large majority of the citizens of Alameda 
County, that the county seat of said county should be removed to the city of Oakland, and a petition of the voters 
of said county has been presented to the Legislature of the State asking the passage of a law authorizing such 
removal; and 

Whereas, Objections to said removal are being made by some, on the ground that a .heavy debt would be 
incurred by such removal, in the purchase of land and the erection of the necessary buildings for county purposes; 
it is therefore 

Resolved, By the citizens of Oakland, that the second story of the City Hall shall be finished at the expense 
of the city, and partitioned into suitable rooms for the District Court, the County and Probate Courts, the 
Sheriff, the District Attorney, the grand jury, the petit jury, the County Surveyor, and the Judge's chambers, and 
that rooms shall be provided on the first floor of said hall for the Board of Supervisors and the Superintendent 
of Public Schools, and in the basement of said hall, if required, room sufficient for a jail. And that the city 
will also dedicate to the county a lot of land, parcel of the City Hall lot, situated in the southwest corner of the 
same, fifty feet wide, on Fourteenth Street, by one hundred feet in depth, for the purpose of erecting a Hall of 
Records for the use of the County Recorder, County Clerk and County Treasurer. And that the use and 
control of said rooms and said land shall be vested in the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, for so long 
a time as said Board may use and occupy them for the purposes aforesaid. 

Resolved, That the Secretary of this meeting transmit to our Senator and Representatives, and to the City 
Council, a copy of these resolutions. 

Messrs. F. K. Shattuck, E. C. Sessions, John Benton, and Dr. Samuel Merritt 
were appointed to see that the matter was brought before the Legislature. 

At a meeting of the City Council, held on the 29th of January, a bill was pre- 
sented and adopted, which was sent to the Hon. Mr. Tompkins for introduction in 
the Senate. 

The bill provided for an election to determine the future location of the county 
seat— San Leandro or Oakland. 

In case of the success of the latter, the City Hall of Oakland was to be fitted 
up for the use of the county officers; the basemsnt of the same given up for a jail; 
and furthermore, a pi :ce of ground, fifty feet front by one hundred and fifty feet in 
depth, granted on Fourteenth Street, for the purpose of building a fire-proof Hall of 
Records thereon; and bonds issued for the purpose of erecting the necessary build- 
ings thereupon. The bill provided that the removal should be at the expense of the 
county; but the rooms in the City Hall were to be fitted up at the expense of the 
city of Oakland. 

Tuesday, the 17th of February, was the day fixed for the discussion of the bill 
in the Senate. The bill was read by the Clerk, Mr. Ferrall, in a distinct voice, 
after which Senator Tompkins rose and off"ered a series of amendments, meeting 
some of the objections that had been raised to the bill; among which was one 
providing for the use of the plazas on Broadway for county purposes, and another 
making the city of Oakland liable for the election expenses in ease of a defeat at 
the polls. His argument was strong, plausible, and persuasive. In his masterly 
manner he portrayed the justice of his cause and delivered an exceeding able argu- 
ment. No one in that Senate chamber knew better how. It had all the facts and 
figures of the case to perfection, and placed them in a manner best calculated to 
enforce his opinions. Oakland was fortunate in possessing so able an advocate. He 
was one of the most brilliant men that ever shone in a California Legislature, and 
in point of ability and effectiveness was superior to every man there. Not a point 
was lost, not an advantage left untouched. All he wanted was a vote on the ques- 
tion. Nothing was fairer than that the will of the majority should be respected and 
their demands granted. 

Political History of the County. 247 

Senator Pendergast, of Napa, was expected to reply. The San Leandro lobby 
depended upon him. He was considered, next to Alameda's Senator, the most 
eloquent man in the Senate. But no reply came from him. Senator Larkin, of El 
Dorado, objected to the bill because it was a species of special legislation, while there 
was a general law to cover the case. In Senator Farley, of Amador, however, the 
Edenites found their strongest champion. He espoused their cause warmly, and he 
was a power. He was Chairman pro tern, of the Senate, and the leader of the Demo- 
crats in that House. He referred to the remonstrance that had been presented against 
the bill, which, he said, contained five hundred more names than the petition in favor 
of it. The Board of Supervisors of the county, he said, were all opposed to it, with 
one exception, and had officially so declared; he showed that the townships repre- 
sented by the Supervisors contained thirteen thousand one hundred and thirty-three 
inhabitants, while the population of the city of Oakland was but eleven thousand one 
hundred and four. He maintained that there were facts to show that the county 
seat was best situated where it then was, to serve a majority of the people of the 
county. He had seen so many discreditable proceedings in connection with county 
seat removals that he was cautious in such matters. Senators Maclay, of Santa Clara, 
and Minis, of Yolo, followed on the same side, and Mr. Tompkins had to reply to 
them all; and this he did ably and clearly, meeting their objections in the most 
forcible manner. But there was an asperity in his manner and a bitterness in his tone 
that was unpleasant. 

The bill was ordered engrossed by a majority of one, there being nineteen for, to 
eighteen against it. 

On the 28th of February the vote on the passage of the bill was taken, when 
there appeared a majority of one against it. Senator Goodale, of Contra Costa, having 
reversed his former vote. The vote to reconsider, next day, stood nineteen for, to 
seventeen against. 

There was rejoicing throughout the county precincts, and the San Leandroans 
received their lobby back from Sacramento with bon-fires, music, and the ringing of 
bells, followed by a public ball. But the contest was not yet over. On the 20tjh of 
March Assemblyman Pardee gave notice that he would introduce a new bill in his 
House in reference to the subject, but it was not necessary that he should, for the 
revised Codes provided the means for ending all such disputes, and of these the people 
of Oakland subsequently availed themselves. 

At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, on September 24th, a petition was 
presented to that body praying the Board to order an election for the purpose of 
allowing the citizens of the county to vote on the question of change of location of 
the county seat. W. W. Foote and William Van Voorhies appeared on behalf of the 
petitioners and R. B. Moyes and A. H. Grififith opposing the same. The petition 
was accompanied by the affidavit of Harry Linden as to the signatures upon the 
petition being those of qualified electors of the county, and also by the certificate 
of the County Clerk as to the number of votes cast at the last Gubernatorial elec- 
tion. Messrs. Moyes and Griffith opposed the petition upon the ground that the 
county seat had already been once removed, thereby making it necessary that two- 
thirds of the voters upon the Great Register should sign a petition for removal of the 

248 History of Alameda County, California. 

county seat, and Joseph DuMont was sworn and testified that the county seat was- 
formerly located in Alvarado, and was removed from there some time in 1854- J- 
B. Goodrich and C. B. Reed were each sworn and testified as to the number of uncan- 
celled names upon the Great Register, both setting the number down at five thou- 

The Board appeard to be dissatisfied as to all the names upon the petition bemg 
those of qualified electors, on motion, the petitioners were allowed to withdraw the 
petition, for the purpose of presenting the same at the next meeting, with the neces- 
sary proofs as to all the signatures being thoseof qualified electors. Ata subsequent meet- 
ing of the Board of Supervisors, held on the 22d of October, Col. Harry Linden again 
presented the county seat removal petition, signed by over one-third of the voters at 
the last general election, one thousand seven hundred and seven names. W. W. 
Foote introduced Colonel Linden, who was sworn and testified that he obtained over 
fourteen hundred of the signatures on the petition. Richard Moyes asked Colonel 
Linden to point out the names he had obtained, which was done. John Coffee was 
sworn and testified that he had compared seventeen hundred and seven names on the 
petition with the Great Register, with the assistance of Mr. Collins and Mr. Knox.* 
He could point out all the names as he had marked them. Mr. Collins was sworn 
and testified that he had assisted in comparing about one hundred names on the peti- 
tion, and found them on the Great Register. J. V. B. Goodrich, County Clerk, was 
sworn and testified that the Great Register presented contained all the names of the 
voters of the county. He knew that at the last general election four thousand and 
sixty votes were cast. On examination of Mr. Moyes, he said there were five thou- 
sand seven hundred and fifty-four names on the Great Register. Mr. Foote said the 
petition was presented under section three thousand nine hundred and seventy-six of 
the Political Code, under which the petitioners demanded that the Supervisors should 
act. Mr. Knox was here sworn and testified that he had compared down to fifteen 
hundred and sixty-two of the names on the petition. 

The question whether the county seat had been once removed by a popular vote 
was brought up. Judge Williams was sworn on this point. In 1855 or 1856, the 
election was held for the re-location of the county seat from Alvarado to San Leandro. 
There was no Board of Supervisors at that time, and the Court of Sessions called the 
election. The election resulted in the removal. The county became a county in 
1853. The county seat remained at Alvarado until 1855. A popular vote was taken 
in that year, and it was in favor of San Leandro. Subsequently it was removed back 
to Alvarado. In accordance with an Act of the Legislature, after that, the county 
seat was again removed to San Leandro. 

Supervisor Case moved that the petition be received and the election ordered. 
Mr. Moyes objected on the ground of unauthenticity of the names. Mr Griffith 
argued against the motion. A writ of mandamus compelled the removal of the 
records from San Leandro to Alvarado. A similar case came up in Sutter Countv at 
that time, and the Supreme Court decided that the Courts of Record must be keot 
where they were prescribed by law. The District and County Court must be held at 
the county seat. The Legislature deemed it their duty to fix the place where th 
courts should be held. An election, called' by this Board, would amount to nothinp- 

Political History of the Countv. 249 

An Act of the Legislature must be had. He claimed that the p :tition did not come 
up to the requirements. The county seat had been once removed; to remove it again 
it must be done in the manner prescribed by the Act. One-third of the votes of the 
Great Register was required. There are five thousand seven hundred and fifty-four 
names on the Great Register, and the petition contains but fourteen hundred and 
fifty- three. 

At the meeting held on October 7th, W. W. Foote appeared before the Board 
and stated that the parties who had been at work comparing the names on the peti- 
tion for the county seat removal had as yet only compared about eight or nine hun- 
dred names. He stated that in two weeks from then the petition would be presented; 
and, if the Board refused to grant the petition, proceedings would be instituted to com- 
pel the Board to do so. Mr. Moyes arose to speak on the question. Mr. Shattuck 
said it was unnecessary to say any more on the subject. He was satisfied that a 
majority of the Board would vote against the petition. John R. Glascock read a 
decision of the Supreme Court, in the case of Upham vs. The Supervisors of Sutter 
County, in support of the argument .that the Supervisors have the power to order the 
election. Supervisor Case called upon the county's legal advisor for his opinion on 
the point as to whether the Board is requir ed to grant an election upon the petition 
of one-third of the voters of the last general election. Mr. Moore said he did not 
think the present case came under three thousand nine hundred and eighty-five, but 
does properly come under section three thousand nine hundred and seventy-six. 
Mr. Moyes requested that Judgs, Nye's opinion be asked. Mr. Moore said it 
was proper for him to state that Judge Nye differed from him. Judge Nye was sent 
for and returned word that he thought it bet ter for him not to give his opinion, as 
the matter might come before him judicially. A vote was taken, and the motion lost 
by the following vote : Neal, Overacker, Clement, Marlin, No; Chase, Shattuck, 
Yes. The petition was ordered on file. 

The next step was to apply to the Supreme Court for a mandamus, which was 
done on the 12th of November, by Mr. Foote. The Court granted an alternative 
writ, returning on the following 19th. It commanded the Board of Supervisors to order 
an election or show cause for declining to do so. A demurrer was filed, and on the 
19th of November the case was argued before Judge McKee, in the Third District 
Court; General Irvine of San Francisco and A. H. Griffith of San Lorenzo represent- 
ing the Board, and William Van Voorhies of Oakland and W. W. Foote of San Fran- 
cisco appearing for Linden. The Court sustained the demurrer, on the ground that 
Harry Linden was not the proper party to bring the action — he, in fact, having no 
more interest in the question than any other of the petitioners. The Court held that 
the suit should have been brought in the name of the people. 

No further action was had in the matter during 1872; but, as will be seen here- 
after, a new complication of the matter was in process by the annexation of the 
town of Brooklyn to the city of Oakland. 

On February 12, 1872, the District Attorney was ordered to prepare and forward 

to the Legislature a bill authorizing the county to issue fifteen thousand dollars of 

ten-year bonds to be applied to the building of a bridge across Alameda Creek near 

Niles. On the 19th March, specifications and plans for the structure, to consist of 


250 History of Alameda County, California. 

three spans of one hundred and thirty-three and one-third feet each, resting on stone 
or iron piers, all timber except the floor, to be preserved by the "Robins process, 
were called for, which. May 5th, brought out a series of bids ranging from ten thou- 
sand two hundred and fifty to fourteen thousand nine hundred dollars. On the nth 
of May the contract was awarded for a "Smith Truss" to the Pacific Bridge Com- 
pany, at twelve thousand four hundred and ninety-six dollars, and 'the work at once 
proceeded. To meet this amount county bonds for fourteen thousand dollars were 
ordered to be issued; and on September 30, 1872, the bridge was reported completed 
and satisfactory, and the contractors paid. 

Owing to the great destruction of roads and bridges, consequent upon the floods 
of the winter of 1871-72, the Road Commissioner of Washington Township issued 
certificates for labor and material expended in repairing, one thous,and and six dollars 
in excess of the amount apportioned to that township, but the Board of Supervisors 
doubting its authority to allow such an outlay, on March 5th resolved to prepare an 
empowering bill for presentation to the Legislature for the purpose of absolving him 
from any responsibility in the matter. 

In the month of February of this year the Central Pacific Railroad Company 
brought suit against the city and county of San Francisco, and the county of Alameda, 
and the city of Oakland, for the purpose of determining in which county their wharf 
was situated, and to what corporation they were justly compelled to paj- taxes. This 
action brought about a considerable amount of discussion and the services of such 
eminent engineers as Surveyor-General Bost; S. J. Clarke (a member of the first Cali- 
fornia Legislature); Captain E. F. Rogers, of the Coast Survey; G. F. AUardt, chief 
engineer of the Tide Land Survey; Luis Castro, County Surveyor of Alameda; and 
Colonel Coffee, were called into requisition, it being finally arranged that the end of 
the wharf was in San Francisco County, which was competent to collect taxes from the 

Under provisions of the Act approved February i , 1872, entitled "An Act sup- 
plemental to and amendatory of an Act entitled an Act to authorize the construction 
of a swing or draw-bridge across the San Antonio Creek in the county of Alameda, 
approved April fourth, eighteen hundred and seventy," authorizing the issue of bonds 
of the county to the amount of thirteen thousand three hundred and forty-four dollars 
and sixty-six cents, payable as follows: — 

On December 12, 1872, one bond for $1500.00 

'^73 " 1600.00 

1874 " 1800.00 

'°7S 2000.00 

'°7" " 2200.00 

'°77 " 2400.00 

'878 " 1944.66* 

Was directed by the Board, the payment to be made in gold coin of the United States 
at ten per cent, per annum. On the same date, March 11, 1872, in response to a 
petition of citizens an election was ordered to be held at " Kelsey's Bowling Saloon " 
on Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, to decide as to the annexing of the following de- 

*Opposite the last bond on the margin ot the record is written in pencil, "Last bond is $1844.66 (signed) 
E. C. Palmer." 

Political History of the County. 251 

scribed territory to the city of Oakland: "Bounded on the north by the line of division 
between plots ten and eleven on Julius Kellersberger's Map of the Rancho of Vicente 
and Domingo Peralta, filed in the office of the County Recorder, January 21, 1857 
said line being produced in a straight line with itself westerly till it intersects the 
westerly boundary of the county of Alameda in the bay of San Francisco, and pro- 
duced in like manner easterly beyond the easterly line of Webster Avenue until it 
intersects the small creek known as Cemetery Creek, which rises in the grounds of the 
Mountain View Cemetery Association and flows southwesterly to its junction with 
another creek rising east of said Webster Avenue on the east by said Cemetery Creek, 
and the other creek aforesaid below their junction until they empty into Lake Mer- 
ritt or Peralta, and thence southerly along the west shore line of the northwestern arm 
of said lake till the same intersects the northerly line of the city of Oakland; on the 
south by said north line of said city, and on the west by the westerly line of said 
county of Alameda in the bay of San Francisco, to its point of intersection with the 
north line already described of the territory sought to be annexed." To effect this 
plan an election was held with the following result : In favor of annexation, seventy- 
nine votes, and against it, forty-two. 

Under provisions of an Act approved March 7, 1872, the town of Alameda was 
incorporated, while San Leandro had similar honors conferred upon it, March 21, 

On July 28th, the Republican party held a Convention at San Leandro, with the 
object of electing delegates to the Congressional Convention, at Sacramento, when, 
after a keen contest, Hon. Nathan Porter, of Alameda, was put forward as the choice 
of the Republicans of the county. Although Mr. Porter appeared to be the favorite 
at Sacramento, there was present an unseen influence that gave the nomination to 
Horace F. Page, of Placerville, who was put forward by the friends of the Central 
Pacific Railroad, and thus that company commenced to work what cannot but other- 
wise be a questionable influence upon the politics of California. 

At the meeting of the Board of Supervisors held October 7, 1872, a petition was 
received from the citizens of the town of Brooklyn, praying to be annexed to the city 
of Oakland under provisions of the Act passed February i, 1872, and requesting that 
an election be held to determine the question. The prayer was duly granted and an 
election called for October 21, 1872, when the following was the result: one hundred 
and eighty-six votes were in favor of annexation; seventy-three against it; while there 
was one rejected ballot. This scheme was mooted with the ultimate view of securing 
the county seat, for obtaining which there appeared to be a tacit understanding; there 
was also a feeling that a close union of the people on this side of the bay would be 
more likely to advance the improvement of the harbor facilities of San Antonio Creek 
in the eyes of the United States Congress, thus promoting the mercantile advantages 
and resources of the towns situated on the estuary. The opponents of the scheme, 
the minority, were those who saw a neglect of the interests of Brooklyn under a con- 
solidated city government and squirmed at the ogre of increased taxation conjured 
up by themselves. The wisdom of the more far-seeing has since fully proved the 
sagacity of their views. 

. Then came Alameda with a like petition. Its prayer was granted, October 22, 


History of Alameda County, California. 

1872, and, on the 9th November, the election to decide the question was held, when 
it was ascertained that there were only forty-seven votes in favor of annexation, and 
one hundred and forty-one against it; thus the township-town was permitted to retain 
its pristine glories. 

On October 22, 1872, the Oakland and Alameda Railroad Company, assignee of 
H. F. Shepardson, et al., was granted permission to lay their track upon the west side 
of the cross-road between the Webster-street Bridge and Euclid Street, and on the west 
side of Euclid Street, Alameda; while, on the same date, two additional bonds of 
five hundred dollars each were ordered to be issued to meet the remaining debt on 
the Niles Bridge. 

Let us now glance at the financial state of the county as made by the Treasurer 
up to October 7, 1872: — 


Oakland Bar Bonds $ 34,000 00 

Oakland Bridge Bonds ; 20,000 00 

Niles Bridge Bonds • lS,ooo 00 

Total $ 69,000 00 


Registered Warrants % 74,221 94 

(Interest on entire debt 10 per cent. All registered warrants will be 

paid by January i, 1873) 

Value of property owned by county; Court House, buildings, and 

land % 40,000 00 

Infirmary buildings 6,000 00 

Infirmary lands 6,000 00 

Total $ 52,00000 

Cash in County Treasury 20,329 12 


Real estate $24,738,246 00 

Improvements 5>498>°2o 00 

Personal property 6,748,655 00 

Amount of money 341,675 00 

Total $37,326,59600 


Levied for 1872-73 $ 327,61862 

Special tax in Alameda Township 2,015 1° 

Total $ 329,633 72 

On November 11, 1872, the Board of Supervisors passed the following resolution, 
which speaks for itself: — 

Whereas, Mr. F. K. Shattuck, now and for many years a member and Chairman of this Board, is now 
about to retire from his duties in this Board, 

Resolved, That we do now extend to Mr. Shattuck the thanks of this Board for the able, untiring, and 
energetic manner in which he has for so long a time discharged his duties among us, and the cordial and uniform 
kindness and correctness which has always characterized his conduct as a Supervisor and Chairman of this Board.. 

On November 14, 1872, Alameda County lost one of its brightest ornaments and 
most efficient public servants in the person of Hon. Edward Tompkins. Senator 

Political History of the County. 253 

Tompkins was distinguished alikel for his vast learning as he was for his oratorical 
gifts, and when the Fell Reaper gathered him to his sheaf he was in the zenith of his 

The new Board of Supervisors, composed of W. B. Clement, Alameda Town- 
ship; Isham Case, Brooklyn Township; J. B. Marlin, Eden Township; J. A. Neal, 
Murray Township; E. Bigelow, Oakland Township; H. Overacker, Washington 
Township, took their seats and elected Mr. Case Chairman of their meetings. They 
at once set apart ten per cent, of the Road Fund for the Special Road and Bridge 
Fund, as heretofore, the township of Alameda being excepted from the above; and, 
on the 30th, ordered that the rate of riding and driving across bridges should be 
restricted to a walk, and that the number of horses and cattle driven over a bridge at 
one time should be limited to fifteen. 

1873. — Once more have we the county seat controversy, which was re-opened at a 
meeting of the Supervisors held February 3, 1873, when W. W. Foote and Col. Harry 
Linden appeared before the Board with the request that a new election be ordered, 
the gallant Colonel and R. G. Knox giving testimony in regard to the names on the 
petition. Supervisor Bigelow moved that an election be ordered, which was seconded 
by Mr. Clement, but was declared lost by the following vote: Ayes — Bigelow, Clem- 
ent, Case. Noes — Marlin, Neal, and Overacker. A vote that showed a change in 
the aspect of affairs, for both the Supervisors from Brooklyn and Alameda Townships 
had changed their colors. It is thought that the reason for this lay in the hope that 
the Brooklyn portion of the city of Oakland would be chosen as the locality in 
which the Court House and public offices would be built. 

Notwithstanding this last rebuff dealt by the Supervisors, Mr. Foote procured 
from the Supreme Court an order commanding the Board to call an election, a charge 
which they could not ignore after a certified copy of the order of the Supreme Court 
•directing a peremptory writ of mandate in the matter of the county seat removal had 
been served on the Chairman by Mr. Foote, on the 17th of February. It was there- 
upon moved that an election be called for Saturday, March 29, 1873, and that the 
Clerk be directed to give the proper order, all the members of the Board, save Super- 
visor Marlin, who was absent, voting in the affirmative. The following proclamation 
was subsequently promulgated: — 

State of California, \ 

County of Alameda. J" 

A petition having been heretofore presented to the Board of Supervisors of the county of Alameda, signed 
by more than thirteen hundred and fifty-five qualified electors of said county, praying the Board of Supervisors 
to order an election, to be held to determine the question of removing the county seat of Alameda County from 
the place where it is now fixed by law, and to determine to what place it shall be removed. And it having been 
determined and established satisfactorily, and it appearing to the Board that said petition does contain the requi- 
site number of names of qualified electors, and is in all respects in compliance and conformity with law, it is 
therefore ordered by the Board that a special election be held in the county of Alameda on Saturday, March 29, 
1873, to determine whether or not the county seat of Alameda County shall be removed from the town of San 
Leandro, in Alameda County, the place where the same is at present located by law, and to what place the 
same shall be removed. Said election to be held and conducted, and the returns made in all respects in the 
manner prescribed by law for general elections in said county. 

At such election each elector must vote for the place in the county of Alameda which he prefers as the seat 
of justice, plainly designating it in his ballot. And it is further ordered by the Board that, at such election the 

254 History of Alameda County, California. 

election precincts, polling places, and officers of election of each precinct in said county shall be as follows: 
[Here follows the usual description of places constituting election precincts, polling places, officers of election, 
etc.] J. V. B. Goodrich, 

By C. G. Reed, Deputy Clerk. Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Alanuda County. 

San Leandro, February 2^, iSyj, 

The morning of the day big with fate broke clear and bright; the sympathizers 
with the opposing factions were early afield, but, seeing that Brooklyn had come up in 
line with Oakland, the result was a foregone conclusion. Yet a good fight was made 
on the part of the Edenites. The result was a total ballot of three thousand five hun- 
dred and twenty-seven votes, divided as follows: — 

Oakland , 2, 254 votes 

San Leandro 1,180 " 

Eight other towns in the county 88 " 

Scattering and rejected 5 " 

3,527 votes 

Thus giving the city of Oakland a majority of nine hundred and eighty-one votes- 
We have said the fight was keen, if possible the preliminary skirmishes were 
more so. The San Leandrans hoped against hope, but slackened not in the combat; 
they had learned to believe that discord had found its way into the Oakland camp, 
chiefly on account of the choice of location, an idea they fostered with much solici- 
tude, for there is no doubt that those favoring the City Hall scheme, and those partial 
to the plaza plan, upheld their rival claims with a good deal of bitterness, thus should 
any breach occur it would incline to the benefit of the old county seat. Brooklyn, 
also, was at fever heat, supported as she was by a large number of citizens, but, on 
account of a compromise with Oakland, who threatened to place " Oakland Town- 
.ship" on their ballots instead of "Oakland City," which latter included Brooklyn as 
well as the original section of the city, she put no ticket in the field. But, though the 
indications pointed to victory, nothing was certain, therefore a number of the citizens 
of Oakland proceeded to the Council Chamber and presented to the City Fathers 
the following resolution, which, on being read, was fully discu.ssed, and the deputation 
alssured that the Council had been promised, by prominent citizens, sufficient money 
to fulfill the promises made in the resolution: — 

"That in case the people of the county vote for the removal of the county seat, the Council hereby tender 
the county the free use of the unoccupied portion of the City Hall, the same to be finished by the Council, within 
sixty days after notice by the Supervisors. And that whenever the Supervisors deem it expedient to erect build- 
ings, the Council will then dedicate public squares on Broadway for county purposes. And, in the meantime, to 
secure the county records, the Council will cause to be erected a fire-proof building adjoining the City Hall, for 
the use of the county, free of charge. And that we are opposed to a division of the county. " 

Then was read the following petition signed by six hundred persons: — 

To THE Honorable the City Council of the City of Oakland — 

We, the undersigned, residents and property-holders in the city of Oakland, respectfully ask that Your Hon- 
orable Body offer to the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County, for temporary county purposes, for such length 
of time as the said Board may deem proper to meet, the use of the City Hall of said city, and as much land 
mmediately adjacent thereto belonging to said city, as may be required for the erection of su ch other buildings 
as may be found necessary to the proper and safe management of county affairs. Also, that Your Honorable 
Body offer to the said Board the two plazas fronting on Broadway, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, in said city, 
as permanent locations for such county buildings as said Board may in future see fit to erect thereon. 

Political History of the County. 256 

Contrary arguments now sprang up like mushrooms. It was said that the city 
had neither the power nor the authority to give away pubHc squares which they held 
only for specific purposes; others declared that the completion of the City Hall would 
be of no ben46it to any other pjace in the county save Oakland; while should it 
become necessary to build, the county could ill afford the construction of expensive 
buildings suitable to such a rising city. All these various topics were, however, of no 
avail. Oakland City became the county seat March 29, 1873. On the sth of April, the 
Board of Supervisors paid a visit to Oakland to make choice of the three sites placed 
at their disposal, namely, the City Hall, the Broadway plazas, or Brooklyn (East Oak- 
land) where Independence square, or failing that, a block of the Larue estate was 
signified for their acceptance. This duty having been performed by the Supervisors, 
who were escorted by several prominent citizens, among them being Mayor Spauld- 
ing, Councilman Ferris, ex-Supervisor Shattuck, Councilman Larue, Judge Glas- 
cock, etc., adjourned to hold their next meeting at San Leandro on the following 
Monday, when it was understood their choice should be determined upon. The matter 
was then taken up, when Councilman Larue, on behalf of the executors of the Larue 
estate, and the people of Brooklyn, handed in an offer donating for county purposes a 
certain block of land on Adams Avenue, numbered twenty-two on the map of the 
old town of San Antonio, and a tender of ten thousand dollars in coin, accompanied 
by properly executed bonds. Judge Glascock appeared on behalf of the City Coun- 
cil of Oakland, and read to the Board the resolutions offering to the county the use 
of the upper portion of the City Hall so long as they might require the same, and 
promising to place it in a fit condition for reception. The resolution also promised the 
erection of a fire-proof Hall of Records on the City Hall property, without charge, 
besides the donation of the plazas already noticed. He also stated that there were 
citizens present, who were willing to enter into . bonds in the sum of fifty thousand 
dollars, guaranteeing that the offers would be faithfully performed. The care of the 
Brooklyn interests was in the hands of Leonidas E. Pratt of San Francisco, who 
belittled the gift from Oakland, and praised that which he represented, stating, that 
that city had no title to the plazas and no power to turn aside any city property from 
its original destiny. These statements over, the Chairman declared that they should 
now proceed to make a selection, but Mr. Bigelow, the Supervisor from Oakland, 
stated as his opinion that the subject was worthy of further consideration, and sug- 
gested that it remain over for one week. A resolutian accepting the grant of the 
Larue estate in Brooklyn was next proposed by Supervisor Clement of Alameda and 
seconded by Marlin of Eden, and on being put to the vote, resulted in its adoption by 
a vote of si.x to one. 

Here was a contretemps! Where Oakland wanted the county seat she was ignored; 
the Supervisors all, save Mr. Bigelow, the representative from that city, had voted that 
it should be located within a few hundred yards of the city's eastern limit, and one 
mile or more from the City Hall. 

This decision gave the whole county, except the residents of Oakland, supreme 
satisfaction — their bete noir had been conquered. Yet this triumph was short-lived, 
but we may not anticipate. 

As if to put further movement beyond the reach of Oakland, the Supervisors at 

256 History of Alameda County, California. 

once advertised for plans and specifications for a Hall of Records, to cost ten thou- 
sand dollars, while temporary arrangements were made by the citizens of Broo J 
for the reception of the county officers and the archives. 

On. the 13th of April the Board met at San Leandro, when the matter of county 
seat removal once more came up. The Chair having made the announcement that 
the Board would now receive petitions, B. F. Ferris presented himself, and informed 
the meeting that he was Chairman of a special committee, deputed by the Coun- 
cil of the city of Oakland to wait upon the Board for the purpose of reading the fol- 
lowing bond to them: — 

Know all men by these presents, that we, the undersigned, undertake and promise, and hereby guarantee, 
that the City of Oakland will faithfully carry out all that is expressed and contained in the resolutions hereunto 


Resolved, That in case the people of the county of Alameda, at the approaching election, vote for the removal 
of the county seat from San Leandro to the city of Oakland, the City Council of the city of Oakland do hereby 
tender to the county of Alameda the free use of the unoccupied portion of the City Hall, the same to be finished 
by the City Council, so as to accommodate the county government, within sixty days after notice from the 
Board of Supervisors of their acceptance, for such time as the Supervisors of said county may desire; and that 
whenever the Board of Supervisors deem it expedient to erect buildings for county seat purposes, the City Council 
will cause, free of cost to said county, to be dedicated for such purposes, the public squares, situated upon Broad- 
way in said city, usually known as Washington and Franklin Squares, and also known as the plazas: and in the 
meantime, and for the purpose of securing the public records, the City Council will cause to be erected, free of 
cost to said county, a good and sufficient fire-proof building upon a lot adjoining the City Hall for the use of the 
county, free of charge, so long as the county may desire the use of the same for said purposes. 

B. F. Ferris, Samuel Merritt, F. K. Shattuck, 
Wm. H. Glascock, John Scott, A. C. Henry, 

P. S. Wilcox, Gustave Touchard. F. Warner, 

James De Fremery, Benjamin Akerly, Henry Durant, 

Mack Webber, Israel Knox, Henry Rodgers, 

Attest: H. Hillebrand, City Clerk. 

A resolution passed by the City Council April 13th, to build a Recorder's office, 
fire-proof throughout, free of expense to the county, and to cost not less than twenty 
thousand dollars, was also read by Mr. Ferris, while he, at the same time, presented 
the/ollowing petition from citizens of Washington Township: — 

To the Honorable the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County — 

The undersigned citizens of Washington Township respectfully request that you will reconsider your action 
in locating the county seat of Alameda County on Block twenty-two, in the town of Brooklyn, for the reasons: 

1st. We believe that the location selected is not a desirable one. 

2d. In our opinion it does not conform to the intentions of the majority as expressed in the recent election 

3d. We believe that it is not for the best interests of the county financially. 

Samuel Marston, T. W. Millard, R. Blacow 

H. Crowell, H. M. Holland, W. Blacow 

J. C. Palmer, M. Sigrist, Peter Campbell, 

Ji. L. Beard, Louis Sigrist, J. S. Marston 

John M. Horner, Henry Muller, Lorenzo G Yates 

Joseph Hirsch, Peter Werringer, R. B. Hull 

A. O. Rix, J. J. Stokes, W. F. B Lynch 

Edward Rix, O. P. Tuller, Jacob Salz 

Ehrman cS; Bachman, Geo. W. Cook, S. Salz, ' 

Stephen Murray, E. F. Palmer, Joseph Horner 

N. Bergman, Plutarco Vallejo, John Lowrie ' 

C. W. T. Bergman, Joseph Herbert, W. J. Eggleston 
J. L. Lang, M. M. Smith, Jos. McKeown, ' 
Alfred K. Henry, G. M. Walters, August May, 
Isaac L. Lang, W. H. Mack, August Heger, 
Michael Rogan, K. Threlfall, 

Political History of the County. 257 

The Board of Supervisors ordered the documents presented by Councilman 
Ferris to be laid on the table. 

Next came a communication from Mr. Estudillo stating to the Board that on 
December 30, 1854, a plot of land for a Court House site had been deeded by his 
family for so long a period as the county offices should be retained at San Leandro, 
but now that their removal was contemplated, he requested the Supervisors to execute 
a quit-claim deed for the land, a statement which was referred to the Judiciary Com- 
mittee and the District Attorney. The next step taken was the opening of plans for 
a Hall of Records, those of S. C. Bugbee & Son being adopted on motion. But here 
a difficulty arose, for the County Auditor, Mr. Goodrich, questioned his right to issue 
warrants to pay for these plans, should they be adopted, and on the matter being 
referred to District Attorney Moore that officer gave it as his opinion, guided by a 
decision in a similar case in Monterey County, that the power to erect county build- 
ings without first being authorized to do so by a tax levy, was not vested in the 
Board. The whole subject was then referred to the Committee on Ordinance and 
Judiciary, who were directed to report at the next meeting. This was held on the 
20th of April, when they stated that the point of authority of the Board to direct 
payment of premiums for plans and specifications, etc., had been carefully considered 
by them, and they, had arrived at the conclusion " that the Board had sufficient power 
under the law to order said payments, and it is its duty to do so; " therefore the plans 
of S. C. Bugbee & Son for the Hall of Records were adopted, the Clerk being ordered 
to advertise for building such, the bids to be received up till the 25th April. Bugbee 
& Son now presented a bill amounting to two hundred and fifty dollars for the plans, 
etc., which on being allowed, was handed to the Auditor, who refused its audit, there- 
upon, on ascertaining this action of Mr. Goodrich, Supervisor Clement moved that 
the Board employ counsel in the matter, for the Auditor was acting under the advice 
of the District Attorney. The motion was adopted. On April 25th George W. 
Babcock was awarded the contract to build a Hall of Records, the price to be eighteen 
thousand two hundred and forty dollars, while to superintend its construction, a Build- 
ing Committee was appointed, but this movement was also doomed to failure, for on 
the 28th April, while in session, the Chairman and each member of the Board were 
served with a complaint made at the instance of Harry Linden, and an injunction 
granted by Samuel Bell McKee, Judge of the Third District Court, to restrain the 
Board from entering into any contract for the erection of any buildings for county 
purposes, or for the payment of any bills against the county for such purposes. The 
complaint was required to be answered within ten days. 

This document, which was signed by Haight & Sawyer, attorneys for plaintiff, 
averred that the site selected by the Board of Supervisors was not within the city of 
Oakland; that the location was procured by the votes and influence of President 
Case, who was charged with being interested in the adjacent property; that the 
defendants had advertised for one week for proposals for the erection of a County 
Recorder's office upon said block, which would involve an expenditure of about 
eighteen thousand two hundred and forty dollars; that such expenditure would be 
an incumbrance upon the tax-payers of the county, and that no authority of law 
existed for the outlay; that the Board had not yet acquired a title to the 

258 History of Alameda County, California. 

property, and that unless the Supervisors were restrained from proceeding with their 
proposed disbursement, great embarrassment would result to the tax-payers and to the 
county. It then wound up with a general prayer that the defendants might be 
enjoined from entering- into any contract for the erection of a Hall of Records, or 
other county buildings, and that said injunction might be made perpetual. 

Having each been served, as stated above, with the complaint the Board of 
Supervisors then adjourned. 

While the injunction stayed the buildings being proceeded with on block twenty- 
two, it did not prevent the Brooklyn Joint Stock Company, who had purchased block 
twenty-one, from proceeding with the erection of a Court House and other public 
offices there, thus the intention of the decree was set at naught and Brooklyn fixed as 
the county seat, from which position it appeared as if nothing but an Act of the Legis- 
lature could oust it. The deed to block twenty-two was presented by the represen- 
tatives of the Larue estate on the 20th May, which, on its being referred to the 
District Attorney, that officer reported favorably upon, June loth, James Larue in 
the meantime tendering to the Board the use of a wooden building that stood upon 
block twenty-one for the use of the county, at the nominal rental of one dollar per 
month, the new Hall of Records being at the same time offered for seventy- five dollars 
a month, which propositions were duly accept-ed, and the District Attorney directed 
to draw up leases embodying the condition that the property would be rented by the 
county for one year, with the privilege of two — the leases to be vacated upon three 
months' notice of either party. The following resolution locating the county seat on 
block number twenty-one was adopted by the Board June 17, 1873: — 

Whereas, This Board did heretofore, by resolution duly passed and entered, in pursuance of law, designate the 
city of Oakland, in the county of Alameda, State of California, as the county seat and seat of justice of said county, 
from and after the 2Sth day of June, A. D. 1873; now be it further resolved and ordered, that the wood and brick 
buildings erected and being finished upon Block twenty-one, of the late town of Brooklyn {now Oakland), in 
said county, together with the land upon which they stand, is, and shall be from and after said 25th day of June, 
1873, and until the further order of this Board, the county seat and Court. House of said county, and the abiding 
place of all the offices and records of said county. 

The county jail was then located by the following order: — 

It having been ordered by this Board that the seat of justice be, from June 25, 1873, at the city of Oakland, 
in this county, and it appearing to the Board that no adequate facilities exist in said city for the safe keepii^ 
and detention of prisoners and persons accused of crimes, it is resolved and so ordered that until the further 
order and action of this Board the jail of said county be and remain in the town of San Leandro, and as at 
present used. 

Thus, after two years of vigorous conflict, was San Leandro deprived of her 
"capitolian crown;" but was Brooklyn to be allowed to continue in calm possession 
of her newly-earned honors? That was the question! It was hardly to be expected 
that the twice baffled citizens of Oakland proper would remain supinely indifferent 
while its late acquisition of Brooklyn bore away the trophy of victory. The war was 
to be maintained; the combat must be fought to the bitter end. 

The archives were duly transferred to their new home on the 26th June, and 
then did the county officers take possession of the buildings located at what is now 
known as East Fourteenth Street and Twentieth Avenue. On the 5th of July 

Political History of the County. 259 

the Board of Supervisors held their first meeting there, and on the /th the County 
Court had its first session. On the 15th a certain amount of doubt as to the 
action taken in accepting the deed of block twenty-two from the Larue estate was 
manifested, and gave cause for considerable discussion. It had been hinted that the 
title in fee simple still remained vested in the grantor, who, it was contended, in 
the event of the county not being able to build upon the land, would maintain his 
right to it; while, if the title was not vested in the county, any persons that might 
object to the erection of buildings thereon would have good cause for an injunction; 
and, should the fee simple of the land be vested in the county, on the other hand, 
and the county fail to erect buildings thereon, the ground would inevitably be 
lost to the estate of Larue. The matter was then laid over for further consideration. 
Meanwhile the Board of Supervisors expectantly looked forward for the decision 
from the Supreme Court on an application for an injunction, as they were bent 
upon the erection of a jail on block twenty-two, and they had those against them 
who were unfavorable to the scheme and would not hesitate to make the most 
strenuous opposition. The Supreme Court delayed not in their judgment; the appli- 
cation was made on the i8th July, and on the 19th the decree was given to the 
public. Having stated its reasons for granting a temporary injunction, the Court 
goes on to say: — 

Waving the question of whether the action is properly brought by the plaintiff and against the defendants, 
without making the county by name a party thereto, we are satisfied that the complaint states no cause of action. 
It is settled in this State that no order made by ths Board of Supervisors is valid or binding unless it be legally 
chargeable to the county;, and if claims not legally chargeable to the county are allowed, neither the allowance 
nor the warrants drawn therefor create any legal liabilities. [People eij. Supervisors of El Dorado County, n 
Cal., 170; Branch Turnpike Company vs. Supervisors of Yuba County, 13 Cal., 190; Trinity County vs. 
McCammon, 25 Cal., 117.] 

If therefore it be true, as alleged, that no authority of law exists for the expenditure . proposed, and neither 
the defendants nor the Board of Supervisors are authorized by law to make provision for the payment of any 
claim for or on account of the work proposed, it must follow, as a consequence, that by no legal possibility can 
the plaintiff or the other tax-payers of the county be injured by the supposed illegal acts of the defendants. The 
expenditure, if made, would, in that event, be no charge upon the plaintiff's property, and he has, therefore, no 
interest in the question presented. If illegal claims are allowed by the Board against the county, it will be the 
diity of the Auditor to refuse to draw warrants therefor; and if warrants are drawn it will then be the duty of 
the Treasurer to refuse to pay thera. The presumption is that these officers will faithfully discharge their duty 
in the premises. 

Order reversed; remittitur to issue forthwith. 

We concur: Belcher, J. 

Wallace, C.J. 
Rhodes, J. 

And now, with right on their side, the Supervisors commenced to advertise for 
plans and specifications for a fifty-thousand-dollar jail, offering a premium of three 
hundred dollars to the successful architect. On August 6th the tender of G. W. 
Babcock was accepted for building the proposed structure on block twenty-two for 
thirty-two thousand and sixty-six dollars, to be paid in county warrants; Mr. Larue, 
at the same meeting, presenting a new deed for that parcel of land, which was 
accepted and the erection proceeded with. 

At this juncture the Civil Code providing for the division of counties into Super- 
visoral Districts, according to population, came into operation and gave Oakland 

260 History of Alameda County, California. 

Township three Supervisors instead of one as heretofore, thus manifestly improving 
her position in voting on the vexed question of county seat removal. Yet the coun- 
try members of the Board, who were all re-elected at the September election, stuck 
to each other as against their " common foe," and lively times were experienced 
within the walls of the Board-room. They held their first meeting on the 6th of 
October, when, after much heated discussion, Isham Case, of Brooklyn, was called to 
the Chair. Triumph number one for the Brooklynites ! The vote went to show the 
feeling of the Board, it being the three members from Oakland as against the four 
from the non-metropolitan districts. Henceforward the fights at the Board were 
extremely bitter; hardly a question that came up but was hotly contested; meanwhile 
Brooklyn, or rather East Oakland, as it was then being generally called, retained the 
honors — but the end was not yet!! 

Leaving this subject for the nonce, we will now proceed with the several other 
official actions connected with the year 1873. 

A generous offer of two thousand young trees, to be planted on either side of 
the county road, between San Antonio and San Leandro, was made in the month of 
March to the Board of Supervisors by Henry S. Fitch, of Fitchburg, but it is not 
on record that any notice was taken of the tender, although the Board had in con- 
templation such an improvement. 

On the 17th of June a committee was appointed to divide the county into 
Supervisor Districts, a duty that was reported completed on August 2d, as follows: 
First Supervisor District, Murray Township; Second Supervisor District, Washington 
Township; Third Supervisor District, Eden Township; Fourth Supervisor District, 
Alameda and Brooklyn Townships; Fifth Supervisor District, all that part of the 
city of Oakland in Oakland Township south of Tenth Street and east of Adeline 
Street; Sixth Supervisor District, to comprise all that part of the city of Oakland in 
Oakland Township north of Tenth Street and east of Adeline Street; Seventh 
Supervisor District, to comprise all that part of the city of Oakland west of Adeline 
Street, and all that part of Oakland Township outside of the limits of the city o^ 

On August II, 1873, the Republican County Convention met at San Leandro 
under the presidency of George M. Pinney, when Charles Webb Howard, W. J. 
Gurnett, and I. A. Amerman were nominated as State Senator and Members of 
Assembly; and on the 23d, a meeting of the Independent Reform Convention 
was held at the call of the Democratic County Committee at the same place. Doctor 
Beverly Cole being Chairman and J. M. Estudillo, Secretary of the Convention. The 
nominations made by this new party in county politics are curious as showing a fusion 
of the two opposing factions, and are here produced as an example of attempting to 
mix oil and water. The information is obtained from Mr. Halley's work: " Hon- 
Edward Gibbons, Independent, received the nomination for State Senator, and Hon- 
J. W. Dwindle, Republican, and Hon. Daniel Inman, Democrat, both former repre- 
sentatives of the county, were nominated for Assembly. For Treasurer, Robert Far- 
relly was nominated by acclamation. Mr. Farrelly had been a candidate before the 
Republican Convention, having hitherto co-operated with that party; but by one of 
those mysterious political manoeuvres, which sometimes surprise people, the nomina- 

Political History of the County. 261 

tion was snatched from him. This was believed to be done through the influence of 
a secret politico-religious organization, known as the ' Crescents,' which had a strong 
delegation in the Convention, and Mr. Farrelly felt free to accept the Independent 
nomination, which he did. Ellis E. Haynes, a Republican, was nominated for Sheriff; 
J. M. Estudillo, Democrat, for County Clerk; Eben C. Farley, Democrat, for 
Recorder; Henry Evers, Republican, for Auditor; W. W. Foote, Democrat, for Dis- 
trict Attorney; Newton Ingram, Democrat, for Tax-Collector; Thomas W. Millard, 
Democrat, for Assessor; V. S. Northey, Independent, Commissioner of Highways; 
John Doherty, Democrat, Surveyor; Eugene Thurston, Democrat, ifor Superintendent 
of Schools; S. W. Mather, Republican, for Coroner; and Dr. W. P. Gibbons, Replibli- 
can, for Public Administrator." At the election which took place on the 3d Septem- 
ber, the entire Republican ticket was elected save for the offices of State Senator and 
County Treasurer, in which the Independents were successful, while the candidates for 
the positions of Coroner and Public Administrator were endorsed by both parties. 
The new Board of Supervisors, who took their seats on the loth October, were: J. A. 
Neal, District No. i; H. Overacker, District No. 2; J. B. Marlin, District No. 3; Isham 
Case, District No. 4; W. B. Hardy, District No. S; P. S. Wilcox, District No. 6; F. K. 
Shattuck, District No. 7. This Board was elected for three years and by law were 
required to divide themselves as nearly as possible into three classes to hold for onC) 
two, and three years respectively. The District Attorney gave it as his opinion that 
this could be done legally at any time within the iirst year after their election, where- 
upon a resolution to classify at once, as follows: two for one year, three for two years, 
and two for three years, was indefinitely postponed by a vote of four to three, following 
which, Supervisor Case was elected President of the Board for the ensuing year. 

In this fall the People's Independent party was organized in California, with 
Governor Newton Booth at its head; and, at the judicial election held October isth 
Judge McKinstry was elected on the Independent Ticket, although Judge McKee, 
the Democratic nominee, had the greater majority in this county. At this election the 
candidature of G. E. Freeman and A. M. Church for the office of Justice of the Peace 
of Murray Township resulted in a tie, but, at a special election held on the 22d 
November, Mr. Church received the position by a plurality of forty-six votes. 

On October 20th a franchise was granted to the San Francisco and Oakland 
Water Company to lay water-pipes along and across the main county road to San 
]os6 and "in, through, along, and across any and every other public highway in the 
county" for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of said county with pure, fresh 
water, conditional, among other things, upon water being furnished free for extinguish- 
ing fires, and at half rates or less for sprinkling purposes to the county. 

On November 11, 1873, a resolution was introduced by Supervisor Marlin, that 
County Assessor Edwin Hunt be requested to resign his office on account of failure 
to discharge his duties, etc. It was so ordered and a committee appointed to investi- 
gate into the affairs of that department. It would, appear that Mr. Hunt had been 
arrested on the 2 1 st of October, under a charge of embezzling public funds, but the 
decision come to by Judge McKee, before the case came up for trial on December 2d, 
sustained the demurrer to the complaint on the ground that the provisions of the 
Political Code, authorizing Assessors of counties to collect poll-taxes were inapplica- 
ble to those officers who were elected before the adoption of the Code. 

262 History of Alameda County, California. 

About the same time, Mr. Northey, who had been elected Commissioner of High- 
ways, was refused, by the County Clerl<, a certificate of election, on the ground that 
the office in this county was not authorized by law. On application to the Third 
District Court for a writ of mandate to compel the issuance of such certificate, 
Judge McKee decided against the existence of such an office. 

On November 22d there died at the residence of his brother-in-law, James Beebei 
at Temescal, Colonel Harry Linden, a gentleman who had been politically prominent in 
Alameda County. Coming to California in 1850, he maintained his residence here 
for a long series of years. He was appointed Colonel on Governor Haight's staff; 
held the office of Public Administrator of the county, and for several years anterior 
to his death was Commissioner of the Third District Court. Not long before his 
death, hfe filled the position of member of the Board of Commissioners and Treasurer 
of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute. In this gentleman the Democratic party 
lost one of its most ardent supporters. 

It would appear that on the 3d November it was resolved that when the Board 
of Supervisors meets on the same day as such, and as a Board of Directors of the 
County Infirmary, the allowance of six dollars per day shall be for said day only. It 
is therefore presumed that this sum was allowed in the first instance for more than 
one day, as, on the 24th, Supervisor Hardy notified the Board that he had placed the 
warrant issued to him in his favor for the bill allowed on the 3d November in the 
hands of the Clerk, and asked that he be allowed to withdraw it as he had ascertained 
that the same was incorrect. Thereupon, on motion, the bill of each member of the 
Board allowed at that date was referred to the District Attorney, who was requested 
to point out any error that might exist. This he did on the 23d December, and after 
an attempt to legalize their bills for the past year, on February 23, 1874, they decided 
to surrender the warrants previously issued to them, amounting to two thousand four 
hundred and seventy-seven dollars and eighty cents, and have issued in lieu thereof 
warrants for two thousand one hundred and fifty-nine dollars and eighty cents. 

During the month of December a bill was introduced into the Legislature to 
change the sittings of the Supreme Court from Sacramento to Oakland, but to no 
avail; while, the Assessor's reports at the end of the ^ear showed Alameda to have 
gained the proud position of being the chief rural county of California. Her assess- 
ment roll showed a value of thirty-five millions, one hundred and fifty-four thousand, 
and sixty-five dollars; her total State and county tax amounted to four hundred and 
thirteen thousa,nd, three hundred and forty-four dollars and sixteen cents; while, her 
indebtedness was one hundred and eighty-six thousand, six hundred and twenty-five 
dollars and thirteen cents. 

1874. — Chief among the events that transpired in the year 1874 were the steps 
taken by the Board of Supervisors of Alameda County towards the improvement of 
Oakland Harbor; and the completion of thfe third fight over the county seat. 

On January 12, 1874, the following memorial to Congre-ss in respect to the 
improvements of Oakland Harbor, was adopted by the Board of Supervisors; — 

Whereas, It is now understood by your petitioners that an official survey has been made by officers of the 
United States for the purpose aforesaid, and that a plan is about to be reported by the Board of Supervisors of the 
Pacific Coast, 

Wherefore, Your petitioners, on behalf of the citizens of Alameda County and of the city of Oaldand, anp 

Political History of the County. 263 

in view of the very important geographical location of the harbor of the city of Oakland, relative to the marine and 
land traffic and travel connecting the shores of Asia and Europe across the continent of America, and joining the 
Atlantic and Pacific seaboards of the United States, most respectfully ask that Your Honorable Bodies will be 
pleased to grant such an appropriation for the improvement of the harbor of Oakland, California, as may be 
recommended by the Board of Engineers of the Pacific Coast and endorsed by the Chief of Engineers of the 
United States Army. And further your petitioners will ever pray, etc. 

Like memorials were transmitted by the City Council of Oakland, and the Board 
of Trustees of San Leandro, which culminated in the appropriation of one hundred 
thousand dollars for the commencement of the work. Its further progress will be 
found recorded in our history of the city of Oakland. 

An attempt was made about this time to incorporate Berkeley as a town, but the 
farmers being unfavorably disposed to the scheme, it was not brought to full fruition. 
It was also attempted, by a bill introduced in the Legislature, to take a strip of land 
of about two miles from off the southern portion of Alameda County and annex it to 
that of Santa Clara, but this too failed; while, the Tide Land Commissioners had it 
on the tapis to dispose of a part of the tide land at the head of Lake Merritt, but this 
also failed on the. passage of an Act ceding the territory in question to the city of 

It was in the Supreme Court that the county seat question made its reappearance 
in 1874. The manner of its resuscitation was in this wise. Upon George W. Bab- 
cock, the contractor for building the jail, making' application to Auditor Goodrich for 
payment of his claim on that account, that officer declined to allow it, therefore the 
first-named gentleman applied to the Supreme Court for a peremptory writ of man- 
date to compel the County Auditor to allow his demand. The Court gave a decree 
in favor of Babcock, and thereafter a bill was passed by the Legislature, March 28, 
1874, allowing him the sum of one thousand dollars and no more. 

On February 4, 1874, "An Act to enable the Board of Supervisors of the 
County of Alameda to erect the county buildings of said county upon Washington 
and Franklin Plazas, in the city of Oakland," was approved, and is as follows : — 

Section One. — Whenever so directed by a resolution passed by the City Council of the city of Oakland, at a 
regular meeting of said Council, the President and Clerk of the said Council shall execute, under the common 
seal of said city, and aclcnowledge grant from said city of the plazas situate in said city and known as Washing- 
ton and Franklin Plazas, to the county of Alameda, for the purpose of erecting thereon a County Court House 
and other county buildings for said county. 

Section Two. — Such grant, when so executed and acknowledged, shall be delivered to the President of the 
Board of Supervisors of said county, who shall cause it to be recorded in the Recorder's office. Upon the receipt 
of such grant the Board of Supervisors of said county shall have power to remove the county buildings of said 
county to said plazas, and to erect therein such county buildings as they may be authorized by law to construct. 

Section Three. — In case such plazas shall be conveyed to the county of Alameda, as hereinbefore provided, 
and the same, or either of them, shall not be occupied by the county of Alameda for the purposes aforesaid, 
within four years from the delivery of such grant, the city of Oakland may have and maintain an 'action against the 
county of Alameda for a reconveyance to it of the property not thus occupied. 

Section Four. — This Act shall take effect immediately. 

This bill was brought to the attention of the Supervisors at their meeting held 
on the nth February, when it was read; besides, a certified copy of a resolution 
passed by the City Council of Oakland, and a deed, duly signed, was presented by 
Mr. Shattuck, who moved that the conveyance be accepted, but it was adversely met 
by the "Big Four" from the rural districts, who stated that they were but the mouth- 

264 History of Alameda County, California. 

pieces of their constituents, who were all inimical to the accepting of the P^°^°^^-g^^^ 
Mr. Case, who, like the ill-fated Duke of Brunswick on the field of Quartre ^^^^, 
" rushed into the field, and foremost, fighting, fell," contended, with much ^^""^^^^ 
that the lease was illegal, and that the change had been by no manner ot me ^ 
required by a majority of the people, he finally moving that the resolution be m e - 
nitely postponed. Then ensued one of those conflicts of words that do not con er 
honor upon the august body charged with conducting the affairs of the county. ihe 
upshot of the whole was, however, that the unfailing four carried the motion of indefi- 
nite postponement against the voice of the usual three, and ended the matter so 
far as the Board of Supervisors was concerned, while Oakland had exhausted all her 
resources in that quarter. 

Of the succeeding action, Mr. Halley, who has evidently given the question his 
closest attention, says, the Country Delegation at Sacramento could only be par- 
tially relied upon. Senator Gibbons had expressed no opinion on the matter, and 
had made no pledges in this regard when before the people of the county seeking 
election. He had, in fact, refused to commit himself, and had consequently met with 
opposition where he would otherwise have gained votes. He was an Oakland man, 
to be sure, but then he had the example of Senator Tompkins, who had incurred the 
hostility of the country people on account of his alleged special advocacy of Oak- 
land, to warn him. Assemblyman Amerman, until the time of the removal to 
Brooklyn, had conducted the fight for San Leandro, and it could not be supposed 
that his support would be forthcoming. Mr. Gurnett, alone, of the three delegates, was 
the only man who could be relied upon to warmly espouse the cause of Oakland in the 
Legislature, and this, of course, he did. 

Then there was the question — What could the Legislature legally do that had 
not already been done? Could it properly interfere in deciding what part of a town 
a Court House was to be located in? The matter, at any rate, was to be tested, as 
Oakland had already exhausted every other resource. 

At a meeting of the City Council, held on the i6th February, Mayor Durant 
sent in a message in which he urged the Corporation to take the initiative in a move- 
ment for the division of the county, with a view to the erection of the city of Oak- 
land and the adjoining townships into a separate county, to receive the name of 
Oakland. No action, however, was taken on this message, which no doubt was 
merely meant as a threat to be put in force under certain contingencies. With the 
aid of the daily papers, which had very warmly entered into the controversy in favor 
of the claims of the city, public opinion was aroused to action and the legislative remedy 
sought. The best legal opinion was obtained, and a bill drawn up to suit the emer- 
gency, at the instance of a committee having the matter in hand, called the Citizens' 
Union, which consisted of prominent property owners. By this bill, which was enti- 
tled: "An Act to provide for the erection of county buildings in the county of Ala- 
meda, and for the issuance of bonds therefor," the Board of Supervisors was directed 
to issue eight per cent, twenty years' bonds, to the amount of one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars, to be redeemed by an annual tax, which raised one thousand dol- 
lars. The Governor was required to appoint five Commissioners, who were to have 
sole management of the money. They were to take possession of the Oakland 

Political History of the County. 265 

plazas and proceed to erect such county buildings as they might deem proper. They 
were authorized to complete the jail then erecting on Block twenty- two, if they saw 
fit. The bill contained many restrictions, and it was intended that the Supervisors 
should not have any control over it, or in any way defeat the progress of the work, 
even by resigning. 

Doctor Gibbons introduced the bill without comment in the Senate, and it soon 
went before the Committee on Corporations. Both sides were advised, and, on the 
evening of March 3d, the matter was discussed. Supervisor Case, E. G. Mathews, 
and William Meek, were heard on behalf of the Supervisors; W. W. Foote followed 
as counsel for the city, speaking more than an hour. Then Senator Gibbons declared 
himself He was in favor of the bill, but said he had offered a compromise to locate 
the county seat in the vicinity of Tubbs' Hotel, but the idea was not tolerated. Then 
followed a speech by Mr. Gurnett, before and after which there was a running cross- 
fire of assertions and contradictions from both sides. 

It will be seen that so far Mr. Amerman had taken no part in this year's inter- 
necine warfare. The Sacramento correspondent of the Oakland News, Mr. Harwood, 
who took a very zealous part in the controversy, and may be said to have kept the 
life in it for the Oakland people, wrote very despondingly one day that Amerman 
would "oppose any legillation intended to break the ring in the Board of Super- 
visors," and this left the matter in not an altogether encouraging condition. The 
Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, too, was Senator Farley, who, two 
years before, had championed the cause of San Leandro in the Senate, in opposition 
to Senator Tompkins. 

On the Sth of the month, the committee met again and heard further statements 
in reference to the matter. The Chairman said, on calling the committee to order, 
the question before them was whether they should take from the Board of Supervisors 
certain functions they were vested with by law; whether it was good policy in this 
case for them to do so. Supervisor Shattuck appeared and made a full statement of 
the existing troubles. He cited the example of San Francisco, where the erection of 
county buildings had been taken out of the hands of the Supervisors and vested in 
Commissioners. The subject of title to the plazas was discussed, when Mr. Shattuck 
stated how they were donated and what they were worth; and Senator Gibbons 
said the original owners of the town site. Hays and Caperton, had recognized the plazas 
as public property, and for twenty years they had been so considered. Mr. Gurnett 
read a letter from Judge Glascock, Attorney for Hays and Caperton, stating that he 
was authorized and would execute any kind of deed that was required. The Chair- 
man asked what was the general sentiment of the people on the question. Shattuck 
replied that they denounced the action of the Supervisors. . Senator Laine asked how 
the vote of the county would stand on the proposition, when Shattuck answered, "two 
to one." Case asked if the jail then building would be sacrificed; Shattuck then went 
into a statement of the building difficulty; showed how the Supervisors were elected 
for three years under the Code; how they had endeavored to obtain a classification of 
the Board as to years of service, and been defeated, and how, under a late decision of 
the Supreme Court, the Board could raise four hundred thousand dollars annually by 
taxation and put up fine buildings at the expense of the people. F. J. Clark of 

266 History of Alameda County, California. 

Livermore, said those who voted for removal in Murray Township were in favor of 
the plaza proposition. Mr. Shattuck said, in Washington Township, many represen- 
tative men were in favor of the Oakland plazas. Case said that the jail would be 
completed in thirty days. Senator Gibbons stated that he had received a letter from 
Samuel Marston, of Centreville, stating that a majority of the people of Washington 
Town.ship favored the pending bill. Mr. Mathews read an article from the Oakland 
News, which stated that if the Brooklyn people would annex to Oakland, her plazas 
should be included in an offer to the county. Senator Gibbons replied to this that 
he had offered to compromise in favor of the plaza near Tubbs' Hotel, in Brooklyn, a 
most beautiful location, but Mr. Case paid no attention to the proposition. Case and 
Mathews said they would be very glad to give up the Court House and get back their 
town government, and be once more independent of Oakland. And here follows 
another pause in the controversy before the final and abrupt close of the protracted 

After this Mr. Harwood wrote to his paper that success was quite certain, if the 
bill was got through the Senate. Gurnett could get it easily through the Assembly 
whether Amerman opposed it or not. A day or two after there was suddenly a talk 
of compromise in favor of the Washington (Brooklyn) Plaza, near Tubbs' Hotel; then 
an open declaration that Case would agree to a compromise^ by which the jail would 
remain on block twenty-two, and the- Court House be built near Tubbs' Hotel; and 
that Senator Gibbons was a party to the compromise. Then came a cry of " treason,'' 
and a declaration that Oakland was without a particle of public spirit. There was a 
sudden awakening, however. Senator Gibbon's course was criticised, and a public meet- 
ing called by " Many Tax-Payers " on Saturday evening, March 14th, in Brayton 
Hall, Oakland, whose rallying cry was "No Compromise!" Hon. Zach. Montgomery, 
on motion of Judge Ferris, was voted to the chair; W. D. Harwood and A. W. Bishop 
the editors of the News and the Transcript, were appointed Secretaries. Then fol- 
lowed a long list of Vice-Presidents. Judge Ferris moved the first resolution instruct- 
ing " our Senators and Members of Assembly to use their best endeavors to pass, 
without delay, the original bill in relation to the removal and location of the coun-ty 
buildings, and opposing their location elsewhere than upon the Broadway plazas." 
Senator Gibbons was called